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Re: starship-design: Re: Light RamScoop?

At 10:44 PM 11/10/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>>>>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.
>OK, but how do they get towards the ship again? (instead of only nearer to
>the path of the ship)

They could manuver ahead of the ship and just drift until the ship caught
up with them.  Assuming they ever needed to get closer to the ship.

>I also have doubts about the efficiency, pushing particles over many
>thousant kilometers, getting them just in front of the ship at the right
>time seems extremely difficult (if not impossible).

Can't answer that, but I thought this might be doable with a lighter system
then a physicalmesh.  Say by bringing it closer to the line of flight so
that more could be scoped up with a smaller scoop mechanism.


Kelly Starks                    Phone: (219) 429-7066    Fax: (219) 429-6859
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