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Proceedings Paper

Nanonewton thrust measurement of photon pressure propulsion using semiconductor laser
Author(s): K. Iwami; Taku Akazawa; Tomohiro Ohtsuka; Hiroyuki Nishida; Norihiro Umeda
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Paper Abstract

To evaluate the thrust produced by photon pressure emitted from a 100 W class continuous-wave semiconductor laser, a torsion-balance precise thrust stand is designed and tested. Photon emission propulsion using semiconductor light sources attract interests as a possible candidate for deep-space propellant-less propulsion and attitude control system. However, the thrust produced by photon emission as large as several ten nanonewtons requires precise thrust stand. A resonant method is adopted to enhance the sensitivity of the biflier torsional-spring thrust stand. The torsional spring constant and the resonant of the stand is 1.245 × 10-3 Nm/rad and 0.118 Hz, respectively. The experimental results showed good agreement with the theoretical estimation. The thrust efficiency for photon propulsion was also defined. A maximum thrust of 499 nN was produced by the laser with 208 W input power (75 W of optical output) corresponding to a thrust efficiency of 36.7%. The minimum detectable thrust of the stand was estimated to be 2.62 nN under oscillation at a frequency close to resonance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8164, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V, 816406 (31 August 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893427
Show Author Affiliations
K. Iwami, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
Taku Akazawa, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
Tomohiro Ohtsuka, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
Hiroyuki Nishida, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)
Norihiro Umeda, Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8164:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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