Robert Zubrin was an inventor of the magnetic sail with Dana Andrews when they looked at the drag of a magnetic scoop intended for a Bussard ramjet. The magnetic sail would be great for a lighter braking mechanism for interstellar laser pushed vehicles.
Robert also was a reviewer for the electric sail paper. It also has drag and has positive charge that pushes against the solar wind.
Robert has thought up something he previously called an enhanced electric sail but now calls the dipole drive.
He has two screens one positive and one negative. Outside of the screens the positive and negative cancel out but between them there is strong field going from positive to negative.
Protons get accelerated between the screens. Electrons are reflected and could be used to generate power.
Electrons only neutralize 2% of the proton thrust. Protons are 1842 times heavier.
The charges can be flipped on the screens to generate drag.
The screens can be moved to get thrust in different directions.
114 millinewtons per kilowatt at 400 kilometer altitude and 14 millinewtons per kilowatt at 1000 kilometers.
For interplanetary against the solar wind it can produce 3 millinewtons per kilowatt.
It can go faster than the solar wind.
6-40 years to get to 550 AU. 6 years if the power system is light 1 kilogram per kilowatt but 40 years if the power system is 50 kilograms per kilowatt.
Beamed power would improve the performance.
200 years to accelerate to 1% of light speed.
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.