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Comparison of Sail vs. RAM (Was Laser Aperture Size)

At 08:40 AM 3/22/96 -0500, you wrote:

>The sail system could get you up to higher speeds if you assume rediculas
>amount of power being supplied by the maser arrays.  Then again I don't
>know how rediculas you'ld need to get to .3c eiather.  ;)

I had already pretty much discounted the maser idea...

>My Explorer class with its externalkly feed fussion rockets could certainly
>get itself up to .3 c and probably back down again, assuming less rediculas
>amounts of power, but a hell of a lot of fusion isotopes.

Most of the research I've seen support .3c from a ramship type of vehicle.
If you can make the extra fuel idea work, then you could probably get even

>Well It doesn't have to be that complicated!  Gravity assist is obviously
>of no use unless you find a black hole near by (To little power for our
>needs.) but you could say use a sail to boost the ship up to speed (.3c)
>here.  Pull in the sail and store it for the cruse, then use fusion rockets
>to decel into the target system.  To get back, refuel and boost out of the
>system using the rockets, and deploy the sail for deceleration into Sol.

Actually the gravity assist manuever combined with sails works BETTER in
deep gravity wells of large STARS. Sails don't help much around black holes!

>I do know what you mean about discouraging thou.  It seems like were not
>going to be able to realisticly build a usable starship without some new
>tricks from physisits.  The only adaquate power source now is anti-mater,
>but thats not really usable or practical.  Perhaps a mater conversion
>system?  So physisits are talking about possibility of rotating the quantum
>particals to convert a partical of mattar to anti-mater.  If this could be
>done on demand the ships could have the power to weight ratio's of
>anti-matter without the danger of bulk anti-matter storage, or the current
>cost of antimatter production.

Assuming it doesn't require more power to rotate the particle than the
energy it produces...

Funny you should new tricks and quantums in the same breath though. Did you
know that quantum energy appears spontaneously in space? Hmmmm....

>Oh, note for sail people.  Those e7 to e15 kg sails.  Given that steel is
>only about 7800 kg per cubic meter, steel sails would fold up into cubes of
>steel from 11 meters to 5 kilometer on a side.

I checked the specs on several different METALS. Steel won't work. Titanium
will. Tungsten is even better though. There was one particular compound of
tungsten and another element that would work very well. Tungsten also has
potential superconduction properties that could be useful if you wanted to
use the sail for deceleration, you could charge it also and it would become
an electromagnetic drag screen as well, thereby increasing it potential

Lee Parker
+                                                                             +
+  Weave a circle 'round him thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread...   +
+                                                                             +