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starship-design: Re: Laser or maser?

Kelly replied to Kevin:

>MARS question!  How much tonage of electrical cable would it take to carry
>the amount of power we're talking about?  Could this be a limiting factor?

It may even be that we should start thinking of a direct maser/laser to
accelerated particle engine.
For example you'd make a pipe with a small exhaust pipe at one side and a
window transparant for light on the other side, the particles inside will
get heated up and flow out through the exhaust end. Of course this needs an
elaborate mirroring system to get that huge beam into a few small pipes.

>>> Yes maybe, however the drag may be far less than the increased efficiency or
>>> better focusing with a smaller array.
>>efficiency will be less with visible light, but focusing will be better.
>Might be better.  But the optics would have to be more precise.  Slight
>rippling in the saiol could be more of a problem.

The sail does not have to focus (I hope), so ripples will only bring us of
course, which could be easely corrected.