laser

futureDirected Energy Propulsion has made a lot of experimental progress

Philip Lubin, University of California, Santa Barbara, Directed Energy for Interstellar Study Starting at 26 minutes of this video. They are making progress with laser locking over kilometer distances. They are making 2 gram starchip prototypes. they are looking at …

futureBeaming laser power to ion drive is 300-400 times more thrust than just laser photonic sail

A 100 meter to 150 meter solar array that is attuned to the lithium ion will be about 70% efficient. JPL is working on the gridded lithium ion arrays to achieve 60,000 ISP. There is work on 60 meter deployable …

laserUS Air Force will ground demo a 50-120kw laser for a gunship in 2018 then airborne in 2020

The US Air force Special ops command will ground demo a combat laser intended for a AC130 gunship in 2018 and then go airborne with shooting the laser a couple of years after that. Webb’s predecessor, then-Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, …

futureProof of concept lightsail material suitable for interstellar mission

Proposals using large light sails like the Starshot Breakthrough, require mirrors with lateral sizes of 4 × 4 m2, thicknesses of 0.05 lambda, reflectivities of 90 %, ppm level optical absorption and a total mass of only 1 gram. Photonics …

laserRoom temperature molecular layer nanolaser opens up a lot of applications

Researchers have built a nanolaser that uses only a single molecular layer, placed on a thin silicon beam, which operates at room temperature. Key to the new development is use of materials that can be laid down in single layers …

energySailbeam and fusion runway designer Jordin Kare has died

Centauri Dreams that Jordin Kare has died at the age of 60 due to aortic heart valve failure. He was involved in developing laser propulsion concepts. As a physicist and aerospace engineer, Kare focused primarily on laser propulsion, both from …

futureTechnical progress towards interstellar laser beamed nanocraft

Breakthrough Starshot brings the Silicon Valley approach to space travel, capitalizing on exponential advances in key areas of technology since the beginning of the 21st century. The nanocraft concept, combining light beamer, lightsail and StarChip, is by far the most …

futureProgress to stable laser propelled sails

Stable flight of a laser sail is an essential requirement of beam-driven propulsion. Centauri Dreams talked to James Benford about work towards stable beam flight. It places considerable demand upon the shape of the sail and beam. James Benford takes …

combat laserUS Military is close to an operational combat laser on the AC-130J gunship

The combat laser for the AC-130J gunship is “rapidly moving” from the concept to the practice according to General Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command. Webb recently visited MIT Lincoln Labs to view its advancements, and saw …

energyNASA Concept to use 100 MW beamed power for ion drive that is 20 times better

John Brophy at NASA Jet propulsion laboratory combines a near term 100 megawatt laser beamed power system to enable an ion drive with 70 megawatts of power and 58000 ISP. They propose a new power/propulsion architecture to enable missions such …