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Re: RE: starship-design: Tugs

In a message dated 8/11/97 9:14:24 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net (L. Parker)

>> ..think large laser sails are more trouble than they're worth, but
>> the most efficient way to stabilize its structure would have to
>> be an active mechanism.  Something like many patches which can be
>> rotated up to 90 degrees with microactuators.  They'd be able to
>> effectively adjust the transparency of the sail on a local basis.
>That is one of the reasons that I found the mention of dielectric materials 
>so interesting. You could "steer" without any moving parts by simply varying

>the current supplied to a particular area of the sail to make it more or 
>less transparent.

That could be a very good idea!  But would that up the power or weight
requirements of the sail system to much?