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Proceedings Article

Hyperenergetic manned aerospacecraft propelled by intense pulsed microwave power beam

[+] Author Affiliations
Leik N. Myrabo

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA)

Proc. SPIE 2557, Intense Microwave Pulses III, 193 (September 8, 1995); doi:10.1117/12.218550
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From Conference Volume 2557

  • Intense Microwave Pulses III
  • Howard E. Brandt
  • San Diego, CA, United States | July 09, 1995

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.

© (1995) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

Leik N. Myrabo
"Hyperenergetic manned aerospacecraft propelled by intense pulsed microwave power beam", Proc. SPIE 2557, Intense Microwave Pulses III, 193 (September 8, 1995); doi:10.1117/12.218550; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.218550


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