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starship-design: Re: 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.
Where does the laser come from? If it comes from the ship, it will push the
At the moment I can't ask more detailed questions, since I'm not 100% sure
of the configuration.
For example how are you going to "tack the sail back to the ship"?