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Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

Eckel, Hans-Albert and Scharring, Stefan (2010) Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space. In: International Symposium on High Power Laser Ablation 2010, 1278, pp. 677-688. American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY. High Power Laser Ablation 8, 18.-22. April 2010, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. ISBN 978-0-7354-0828-9. ISSN 0094-243X

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Pulsed laser propulsion may turn out as a low cost alternative for the transportation of small payloads in future. In recent years DLR investigated this technology with the goal of cheaply launching small satellites into low earth orbit (LEO) with payload masses on the order of 5 to 10 kg. Since the required high power pulsed laser sources are yet not at the horizon, DLR focused on new applications based on available laser technology. Space-borne, i.e. in weightlessness, there exist a wide range of missions requiring small thrusters that can be propelled by laser power. This covers space logistic and sample return missions as well as position keeping and attitude control of satellites. First, a report on the proof of concept of a remote controlled laser rocket with a thrust vector steering device integrated in a parabolic nozzle will be given. Second, the road from the previous ground-based flight experiments in earth’s gravity using a 100-J class laser to flight experiments with a parabolic thruster in an artificial 2D-zero gravity on an air cushion table employing a 1-J class laser and, with even less energy, new investigations in the field of laser micro propulsion will be reviewed.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech, Paper)
Title:Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Eckel, Hans-Alberthans-albert.eckel@dlr.de
Scharring, Stefanstefan.scharring@dlr.de
Journal or Publication Title:International Symposium on High Power Laser Ablation 2010
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 677-688
Phipps, ClaudePhotonic Associates, LLC
Publisher:American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY
Series Name:AIP Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Laser propulsion, Free flight experiments, Steering, Lightcraft, Parabolic thruster, Impulse coupling coefficient, Remote control, Laser ablation, Microgravity, Air cushion table.
Event Title:High Power Laser Ablation 8
Event Location:Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:18.-22. April 2010
Organizer:Claude Phipps, Photonic Associates LLC
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Aircraft Research
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AR - Aircraft Research
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Laser Research and Technology
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics
Deposited By: Stefan Scharring
Deposited On:19 Sep 2012 14:29
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:46

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