Questions tagged [laser]

Questions regarding devices which emit focused beams of electromagnetic energy.

11 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Why is the Aeolus space laser losing power so quickly?

The BBC News article Aeolus: Wind-mapping space laser is losing power says that Europe's Aeolus satellite was launched last year to gather data to improve weather forecasts, and its observations have ...
4
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118 views

Could a laser ablation-based propulsion system really accelerate an object to 0.001 c?

Comments below this answer suggests that a laser ablation-based propulsion system, where the laser is separate from the object to be accelerated, could accelerate an object to about 1/1000 of the ...
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555 views

Breakthrough Starshot's 100 Gigawatt laser array - what's the current thinking how this might work?

In the article Breakthrough Starshot tricks out massive telescope for planet hunting there is casual mention of a "phased array of lasers in the 100GW range" that will propel a gram scale spacecraft ...
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39 views

Are there any possible proxies for dust accumulation on the retroreflectors on the moon?

New York Times' How Do You Solve a Moon Mystery? Fire a Laser at It links to the new open access paper First two-way laser ranging to a lunar orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to ...
3
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81 views

Laser powered LEO launch system

Latest research on beam powered propulsion seem to focus on the microwave spectrum as it is easy to catch by the orbital vehicle. However I argue it could be way cheaper to use a solar powered laser ...
3
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208 views

Why would “Breakthrough Starshot” need photon thrusters?

Found here (italics added, bold in source): Nanocrafts are gram-scale robotic spacecrafts comprising two main parts: StarChip: Moore’s law has allowed a dramatic decrease in the size of ...
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55 views

How could METI laser pulses be “brighter than the Sun”?

This Astronomy online course page The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence contains the following, about half-way down: However, in recent years, human engineers have learned how to make flashes ...
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137 views

How many (presumably friendly) lasers are being shot at us from space?

A comment below @A.Rumlin's answer to Is there any spacecraft that is ping-able? links to a Facebook page (in Russian) which shows an astrophotographer's photograph of stars plus a big green flare ...
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51 views

Was any data actually transmitted between OSCD and ISARA in the recent CubeSat lasercom test?

Two CubeSats (the OCSD and ISARA CubeSats) recently demonstrated technology for on-orbit sat-sat laser communications. All the information I have been able to find doesn't indicate if the test ...
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59 views

Could outer system probes detect lasers shone at them from earth (orbit)?

Does the Voyager spacecraft have instruments capable of detecting laser light if shone at them? New Horizons certainly does. Any other probes? Is there any laser capable of accuracy and power enough ...
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99 views

Could the moons of Jupiter or Saturn be heated to human-friendly temperatures?

I always loved the part in 2001 where Jupiter becomes as star. Has anyone ever suggested placing power generating stations high in the atmosphere of gas giants, and beaming the energy to colonies on ...