Schematic Diagram of a Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) Concept for Propelling Spacecraft in Space.
Advanced Space Technologies:
Enabling Next Generation Space Exploration Endeavor
Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) – Enabling wide ranges of next generation space endeavors from launching spacecraft to near light speed to precision controlling spacecraft/satellite formation flying.
Our patent-pending Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) is an innovative photon thruster that amplifies photon thrust by orders of magnitude by exploiting an active resonant optical cavity formed between two mirrors on paired spacecraft. PLT is predicted to be able to provide the thrust to power ratio (a measure of how efficient a thruster is in terms of converting power to thrust) approaching that of conventional thrusters, such as laser ablation thrusters and electrical thrusters. Yet, PLT has the highest specific impulse (a measure of how fast the fuel can propel spacecraft) orders of magnitude larger than that of other conventional thrusters. Recently, we have successfully demonstrated the photon thrust amplification in PLT for the first time in history with an amplification factor of 3,000. Scaling-up of PLT is highly promising, and PLT is predicted to enable wide ranges of next generation space endeavors. Low thrust (milli-Newton) PLTs enable nanometer precision spacecraft formation, for example Photon Tether Formation Flight (PTFF), for forming ultralarge space telescopes and radars. Medium thrust (Newton) PLTs enable precision propellantless orbit changing and docking. High thrust (greater than kilo-Newton) PLTs enable propelling spacecraft at speeds beyond hundreds km/sec. At such speeds, spacecraft could transit from Earth to Mars in less than one week.
Bae Institute is dedicated to improving the efficiency of the conventional fusion schemes, such as magnetic fusion and heavy ion fusion for advanced propulsion applications. In particular, Bae Institute investigates the usage of cluster ions to increase the efficiency of heavy ion fusion based on the discovery by Dr. Bae and his colleagues in 1994, which showed the cluster ions produce dramatically enhanced compression compared with individual ions. (See the figure below).
Controlled nuclear fusion is a model for supplying clean energy production and propulsion power for the next generation. Bae Institute is dedicated to researching that improves efficiencies of conventional nuclear fusion schemes, such as magnetic fusion, laser fusion and heavy ion fusion, particularly, heavy ion fusion.
Traditionally, heavy ion fusion has been connected to atomic ions. We propose the application of cluster ions to increase the efficiency of heavy ion fusion beyond current limits with a special beam. A cluster ion beam has potential to dramatically enhance both beam compression and beam energy deposition density by reducing the space charge effect.
SOURCE: Bae Institute of Technology
by Vladimir V. Beletsky (Author), Evgenii M. Levin (Author), American Astronautical Society (Corporate Author)
|SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROPELLANTLESS
PHOTON TETHER FORMATION FLIGHT
Patent Number: WO2007024655
Pub. No.: WO/2007/024655
Title: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROPELLANTLESS PHOTON TETHER FORMATION FLIGHT
Designated States: AE, AG, AL, AM, AT, AU, AZ, BA,
BB, BG, BR, BW, BY, BZ, CA, CH, CN, CO, CR, CU, CZ, DE, DK, DM, DZ, EC,
EE, EG, ES, FI, GB, GD, GE, GH, GM, HN, HR, HU, ID, IL, IN, IS, JP, KE,
KG, KM, KN, KP, KR, KZ, LA, LC, LK, LR, LS, LT, LU, LV, LY, MA, MD, MG,
MK, MN, MW, MX, MY, MZ, NA, NG, NI, NO, NZ, OM, PG, PH, PL, PT, RO, RS,
RU, SC, SD, SE, SG, SK, SL, SM, SV, SY, TJ, TM, TN, TR, TT, TZ, UA, UG,
US, UZ, VC, VN, ZA, ZM, ZW.
SOURCE: WIPO - WO2007024655
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