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Proceedings Paper

Hyperenergetic manned aerospacecraft propelled by intense pulsed microwave power beam
Author(s): Leik N. Myrabo
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Paper Abstract

The objective of this research was to exploit wireless power transmission (microwave/millimeter)--to lower manned space transportation costs by two or three orders of magnitude. Concepts have been developed for lightweight, mass-producible, beam-propelled aerospacecraft called Lightcraft. The vehicles are designed for a 'mass-poor, energy-rich' (i.e. hyper-energentic flight infrastructure which utilizes remote microwave power stations to build an energy-beam highway to space. Although growth in laser power levels has lagged behind expectations, microwave and millimeter-wave source technology now exists for rapid scaling to the megawatt and gigawatt time-average power levels. The design exercise focused on the engine, structure, and receptive optics requirements for a 15 meter diameter, 5 person Earth- to-moon aerospacecraft. Key elements in the airbreathing accelerator propulsion system are: a) a 'flight-weight' 35GHz rectenna electric powerplant, b) microwave-induced 'Air Spike' and perimeter air-plasma generators, and c) MagnetoHydroDynamic-Fanjet engine with its superconducting magnets and external electrodes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 1995
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 2557, Intense Microwave Pulses III, (8 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.218550
Show Author Affiliations
Leik N. Myrabo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2557:
Intense Microwave Pulses III
Howard E. Brandt, Editor(s)

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