Diffracted solar sail

There is a NASA NIAC study to improved laser pushed sails with advanced diffracted solar sail.

Advanced diffractive films may afford advantages over passive reflective surfaces for a variety space missions that use solar or laser in-space propulsion. Three cases are compared:

Sun-facing diffractive sails, Littrow diffraction configurations, and conventional reflective sails. A simple Earth-to-Mars orbit transfer at a constant attitude with respect to the sun-line finds no penalty for transparent diffractive sails. Advantages of the latter approach include actively controlled metasails and the reuse of photons.


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