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starship-design: Light RamScoop?

A thought.  Long ago, we were discusing Ramscoops.  Eiather for ram fussion
systems, or ram augmented systems.  The later could use interstallar dust
to augment the reaction mass.  At the time we figured that any physical
scoop would weigh more then the material it scooped up, and ran into papers
(Heppinhimer wrote one) that suggested that the the drag from a magnetic
scoop would be greater than the thrust.

What about light scoops?  Could we use lasers reflected off of outriding
light sails?  The sails would need to tack back and forth on the beem.  But
could reflect the beam back in toward the line of flight.  Pushing material
inward toward a smaller scoop.  This would seem to avoid the drag problem,
but I've no idea if they would be worth the trouble.

Kelly, your scout for new angles.  ;)

Kelly Starks                    Phone: (219) 429-7066    Fax: (219) 429-6859
Sr. Systems Engineer                                     Mail Stop: 10-39
Hughes defense Communications
1010 Production Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46808-4106
Email:  kgstar@most.fw.hac.com