Light Beamer | Cost

The estimated cost of the laser array is based on extrapolation from the past two decades, and the prospects of mass production to reduce the associated cost.

Laser amplifier costs declined exponentially between 1990 and 2015, halving approximately every 1.5 years (18 months). If this this trend were to continue, it would bring the construction cost a large beamer orders of magnitude lower within the next decades.

Sep 08, 2016 00:36 Konrad Klepacki Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Could LightBeam installation be configured, perhaps with additional mirrors, to focus on a targets near the ground?

If so then I think the array could launch relatively heavy vessels into orbit. Practical applications of such technology were demonstrated some 15 years ago e.g. by prof. Leik Myrabo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leik_Myrabo

Of course we don’t need 60 000g acceleration here. But at ~6g for 2 minutes the payload on the order of tens of kilograms would be delivered to LEO at energy budget similar to the proposed Starshot launch.

Somebody has to do the numbers, but it could be much cheaper/more convenient way to reach the orbit than using conventional rockets. If so then potentially the LightBeam could be a turned into commercial endeavor. And possibly help in funding the ambitious research initiative.

That would bring even more "Silicon Valley approach to space exploration", wouldn’t it?

There are additional problems with this usage of the array. E.g. potentially devastating “light pollution” from a powerful beam being reflected and hitting ground somewhere near. But I’m sure this is manageable.

Sep 08, 2016 11:41 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

'Could LightBeam installation be configured, perhaps with additional mirrors, to focus on a targets near the ground?

If so then I think the array could launch relatively heavy vessels into orbit. Practical applications of such technology were demonstrated some 15 years ago e.g. by prof. Leik Myrabo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leik_Myrabo'

Might be better with a balloon launch, if we affixed control mirrors on the top of a toroidal balloon and then some of the lasers shot up through the centre of a lens system we could use photo recycling to aid a payload of sails into orbit, no need for an expensive launch rocket.

Nov 05, 2016 03:13 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

RE:
"Sep 08, 2016 00:36Konrad KlepackiPosted on: Breakthrough Initiatives
Could LightBeam installation be configured, perhaps with additional mirrors, to focus on a targets near the ground? If so then I think the array could launch relatively heavy vessels into orbit. Practical applications of such technology were demonstrated some 15 years ago e.g. by prof. Leik Myrabo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leik_Myrabo Of course we don’t need 60 000g acceleration here. But at ~6g for 2 minutes the payload on the order of tens of kilograms would be delivered to LEO at energy budget similar to the proposed Starshot launch. Somebody has to do the numbers, but it could be much cheaper/more convenient way to reach the orbit than using conventional rockets. If so then potentially the LightBeam could be a turned into commercial endeavor. And possibly help in funding the ambitious research initiative. That would bring even more "Silicon Valley approach to space exploration", wouldn’t it? There are additional problems with this usage of the array. E.g. potentially devastating “light pollution” from a powerful beam being reflected and hitting ground somewhere near. But I’m sure this is manageable."

RE
"Sep 08, 2016 11:41michael.million@sky.comPosted on: Centauri Dreams
'Could LightBeam installation be configured, perhaps with additional mirrors, to focus on a targets near the ground? If so then I think the array could launch relatively heavy vessels into orbit. Practical applications of such technology were demonstrated some 15 years ago e.g. by prof. Leik Myrabo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leik_Myrabo' Might be better with a balloon launch, if we affixed control mirrors on the top of a toroidal balloon and then some of the lasers shot up through the centre of a lens system we could use photo recycling to aid a payload of sails into orbit, no need for an expensive launch rocket."

Answer:
Much good work has been performed on beamed energy launch systems including the work by Dr Myrabo. It may be possible to use our ground array in such a manner. The largest challenge will be to reconfigure the launch system to focus it beam on a significantly shorter distance. We are currently thinking of the start of the focus at 60,000Km. Moving it into 30Km will take significant modifications to the system to make it possible. Of course, you need a lot less of the array.

- Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Starshot

Nov 18, 2016 10:51 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

"Much good work has been performed on beamed energy launch systems including the work by Dr Myrabo. It may be possible to use our ground array in such a manner. The largest challenge will be to reconfigure the launch system to focus it beam on a significantly shorter distance. We are currently thinking of the start of the focus at 60,000Km. Moving it into 30Km will take significant modifications to the system to make it possible. Of course, you need a lot less of the array.

- Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Starshot"

A balloon system although adds to the overall design cost will only need a few central lasers to be deflected, this will allow us to send communication/observation craft into many different orbits to build up our solar communication system.

Nov 29, 2016 13:06 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

" Much good work has been performed on beamed energy launch systems including the work by Dr Myrabo. It may be possible to use our ground array in such a manner. The largest challenge will be to reconfigure the launch system to focus it beam on a significantly shorter distance. We are currently thinking of the start of the focus at 60,000Km. Moving it into 30Km will take significant modifications to the system to make it possible. Of course, you need a lot less of the array. "

We could use a balloon system to launch laser sails directly into space without the need for an expensive launch rocket. If we use a lens/mirror system on the balloon and a few central lasers we could launch the sails directly from the balloon system slowly at first into a higher direct orbit. Once the sail is in space it can be more forcefully propelled into the 60, 000 km launch window when the main lasers then give it full power.

Dec 06, 2016 18:12 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

RE:
"Nov 18, 2016 10:51 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams
A balloon system although adds to the overall design cost will only need a few central lasers to be deflected, this will allow us to send communication/observation craft into many different orbits to build up our solar communication system."

Answer:
Keeping the cost under our target is one of our main goals. If we had more funds we could make a more functional system.

- Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Starshot

Dec 07, 2016 08:16 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

"Answer:
Keeping the cost under our target is one of our main goals. If we had more funds we could make a more functional system.

- Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Starshot"

I am sure there will be a private company or many out there that would piggyback using the laser system even during start up. They could provide the balloon system and pay for the fuel+commission helping reduce the overall cost of the project.

Jan 05, 2017 02:37 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

RE:
"Dec 07, 2016 08:16 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

I am sure there will be a private company or many out there that would piggyback using the laser system even during start up. They could provide the balloon system and pay for the fuel+commission helping reduce the overall cost of the project."

Answer:
Thanks for your help. It would be wonderful if we could get private companies to assist as it will be a challenge for one entity to do this alone.

- Pete Klupar, Breakthrough Starshot

Jan 05, 2017 08:03 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

There are several companies that are carrying out tests on laser ablation propulsion, 'lightcraft' been one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhUasBcoj-Q

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=9413

By looking at what the laser system can do not only during start up but at full power it will attract more companies to invest in the idea. The only way short of government support getting around $5 - 10 billion is going to be painful.

Jan 06, 2017 08:22 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

We will need at some point to invest in an asteroid/comet defence system, this laser at full power would pack a huge punch. We could fire these sail discs at high velocity to open the objects crust and allow either the Sunlight or laser power to disperse and move it. We could also use these discs to probe other objects around the solar system for study, it is all the other tasks this laser system could offer that makes it much more attractive. Starshot maybe just be the final goal but the amount of tasks completed in the mean time during that journey would be enormous.

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