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Re: starship-design: Timothy's beamed power paper
On Mon, 21 Jul 1997 18:04:05 +0200 (MET DST) Zenon Kulpa
>> Hope this is better. The sail pulls a column that passes through
>> sail, with the payload on top, away from the Earth side of the sail.
>Sorry, did not work this time either.
>Concerning the idea itself, I have doubts:
>- the central compression column must quite thick, hence heavy:
> the problem is not so much with compression strength
> as with bending of long (relative to width) objects
> compressed lengthwise (the effect is called "buckling"
> if I am not mistaken).
Actually, the central column would be a truss, relatively light-weight
but strong. You are correct about buckling, though, the seminal work was
by Euler (see any engineering mechanics text, look up Euler's Columns).
>- the construction will be rather unstable (like Wright brothers
> early planes, with their tail-first design): the central column
> wil tend to veer to the sides.
Good point about the stability.
>The parachute design seems much better; the payload can be
>shielded from the beam by a small sail supported by correspondingly
>small truss structure.