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Re: starship-design: Re: Light RamScoop?

At 7:54 PM 11/6/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>To Kelly
>>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
>ship back.

True, thrust gain from the added scooped mass would have to be greater that
the reverse thrust for the system to be practical.

>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"?

If the mini-sails are ahead of the ship and pointing forward and outward.
The mini-sail will reflect the beam inward and forward, and the mini-sail
will be pushed outward and forward.  If the sail turns back inward.  It
will reflect the beam outward and backward.  The mini-sail pushed inward
and forward.


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