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Proceedings Paper

Lightcraft experiments in Germany
Author(s): Wolfgang O. Schall; Willy L. Bohn; Hans-Albert Eckel; Wilhelm Mayerhofer; Wolfgang Riede; Eberhard Zeyfang
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Paper Abstract

Vertical flight and pendulum experiments have been carried out with a simple paraboloid type lightcraft in the air-breathing mode. Pulsed laser energy of up to 240 J/pulse was delivered from a highly reproducible e-beam sustained CO2-laser at repetition rates up to 45 Hz. The lightcraft mass was varied in the range between 22 and 55 g. An average thrust of 1.1 N has been derived from the flight data and the highest impulse coupling coefficient found in the pendulum experiments was 33.3(DOT)10-5 Ns/J. A double shock wave was detected that leaves the thruster exit and an attempt was made to model the thrust, using a modification of Sedov's similarity solution for a blast wave. Finally, the propulsion requirements for the launch of a 10 kg mass into low Earth orbit are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4065, High-Power Laser Ablation III, (16 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.407369
Show Author Affiliations
Wolfgang O. Schall, DLR (Germany)
Willy L. Bohn, DLR (Germany)
Hans-Albert Eckel, DLR (Germany)
Wilhelm Mayerhofer, DLR (Germany)
Wolfgang Riede, DLR (Germany)
Eberhard Zeyfang, DLR (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4065:
High-Power Laser Ablation III
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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