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Re: Orbit B

On Wed, 6 Mar 1996 KellySt@aol.com wrote:

> re Kevin C Houston
> > Which is why i proposed building the maser array on a small, innersystem 
> > planet.  (like mercury)
> Kind of useless for a reflector.  And as a transmitter the beam would be
> moving side to side and couldn't keep to a fixed vector.

No, think of a cone twelve light-years tall, with a base circle the size 
of merc's orbit.  the angular deviations would be nearly impossible to 
measure.  Let's just consider a two-dimensional analogy. an isoceles 
triangle twelve lightyears to a side, with a 72 million mile base:
the angle at the point of the triangle would be ~5E-7 degrees.  since 
Merc takes ~88 days to complete an orbit, it would be very easy for a 
south-polar maser station to track Tau Ceti.  Just like large 
observatories track stars over a night here on earth.  (note: Merc is not 
tide-locked WRT Sol, so there would also be some revolutionary component 
to account for)

> Your still talking about a lateral drift of an orbit diameter.  I guess

over light years distance.  even at one light year, the beam coming from 
one side of merc's orbit would only be .000006 degrees different from the 
other side of merc's orbit.  you could never tell.  you'd be hard-pressed 
to measure it with the best of equipment

> angular change is a no show since the beam couldn't aim toward the ship.  It
> would need to aim fixed vector and the ship chases it around.  If it slips
> off.  You die.

The beam is aimed straight at TC, same as any fixed (WRT Sol) 
Transmitter, by the time you get one-lightyear out, you can't tell the 
difference between the beam from one side of merc or the other.


I've got an idea rolling around my head, and I think it's time to let it out.

First, attach a asimov-sized sail and maser cannons (just like Tim/Kelly 
proposed) to several large asteroids (for mass) and blast the hell out of 
it to get it up to .5 C. once it is on it's way, wait until it is in 
position, (time unknown, still working on it) and start a one light-year 
long maser blast.  after this amount of energy is on it's way, the Asmiov 
begins it's journey.  after one year, the maser beam cuts off from Sol. 
The tail end of this beam catches up to Asimov at the half-way point, 
just as the retransmitted beam from the (for lack of a better word) 
reflector.  The reflector speeds up, and crashes into TC, while the 
asimov slows down. the maser beam from earth is still only on for about 
two years (not counting the time needed to accelerate the reflector)

one of the nice things about this system is that the reflector can be 
accelerated at just about any rate, (within reason) as it is un-manned. 
given that we won't need large RM tanks, or a Kilometer long ion engine, 
I think the entire weight of the Asimov can be drastically reduced to 
crew support sections only.  While in-system, the Asimov uses a 
visible-light solar sail to move around.  This system still requires a 
construction project to build the return masers.

Comments?  Suggestions? Flames?  ;)