The laser beam rocket

We move with a rapid speed on an age, some future researchers as "Lightage", D.H. As the age of electromagnetic waves, refer to. Light also means "easy" and is thus at the same time the age of lightweight construction.

Light-passing and lightweight structures form the basis for a novel energy supply and means of transport of the future. Nature is a complex whole and not only as a resource in the form of matter, energy or space to look at. All biological and ocological systems work due to solar energy. The age of "Light Age" is surprised by the new light wave-oriented technologies (also called Photronik).

Lightcraft – Air Force Research Lab

Glass fiber, laser, holography, solar technology, optical computer, biotechnologies, genetic engineering and nanotechnology have all application fields where microscopic and light-oriented technologies form a new synthesis. The most important ethical principle of the light-oriented era must be low to keep the energy lift low and to optimize its efficiency. The age of the Light Age opened us a completely new ARA of Obology-Oriented energy production and reduced energy consumption.

Without engines and fuels

Practical space transport systems in space could get along with the use of light without engines and fuel on board, D.H. The payload could ride on a laser beam in the universe. About 10% of the weight of such a Lightships could be used for payload, with this value by using ultralight materials even today to the factor of 15 – 20% increase.

For comparison, a Saturn V rocket, one of the best optimized missiles in the world, can be used only about 4% of the starting material at a 500 km of circular path around the earth as payload. At the first Ariane rocket, this was only about 2% payload based on the starting material of the rocket – and that with a lower orbit of only 200 km high. The first Space Shuttle for a 278 km orbit also had only a payload of only about 1.5% of the starting material. These figures illustrate what immense development potential in lighting technologies and where future focus areas of space research should be.

Successful tests

American scientists are currently testing such a transport system driven by means of laser beam, which significant cost reduction potential for the commands of payloads, z.B. Satellite or small components for space stations, supplies to orbit.

On the 5th. Nov. In 1997, the first Aubentest was carried out with a pulsed 10 kW laser beam (a high-performance infrared C02 laser whose wavelength is invisible to the bloby eye), which is at a diameter of 14 cm and a weight of about 40-50 Gram to a high of 50 ft brought, at the following test a month later, a flight of 73 ft was reached. For the other tests on the White Sand’s Rocket Testing Founde in New Mexico with a high energy sapler system (on the "High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility") is planned in the next few months, the flight to 3.To increase 000 ft.

The experiments are coordinated by the research laboratory for drive technologies of the Edward’s Air Force Base. The project is also supported by NASA. The first attempts are very promising and remember strongly to the pioneering phase of river algores by the experiments of Goddard and Wernher von Braun (see also the contribution of Hermann Oberth to Wernher von Braun of APS).

Drive principle

The drive of the Lightcraft was invented by Leik Myrabo, a professor on the renowned Renssela Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York. The basic principles of the drive is relatively easy. A mirror serves as a star ramp for the Lightcraft. A fast pulsating laser is directed to a reflector below the rocket, whereby the air under the rocket is heated very much. This reflector focuses the laser beam in a combustion chamber where the light energy separates electrons from the atoms (D.H. There is an ionization instead) and a high prere plasma with a temperature of approx. 30.000 Kelvin is generated. This process becomes "Inverse brake radiation" named and releases explosive energies that can be used by dusen for the drive of missiles.

With each laser pulse, there is an expansion of the superheat air over a Duse, which the Spacegerat is always speeding up. The laser drive is based on the use of magnetohydrodynamic power. Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is a research area that examines the effects of magnetic fields on fluid plasma. By using the Lorenz-Krafte, the particles of a plasma can be accelerated by magnetic and electric fields. With this drive system, any predetermined space trajectory can be fleeted by computer-controlled laser beam mode. Decisive for the performance of such a system are in addition to efficient laser systems materials with high heat constituency.


From prof. Henry Nagamatsu, who has played an important role in the American rocket and space design since the 1950s, become so-called "Air Spike"-Systems (see also the contribution Venture Star of APS) tested in which shock waves are created in front of the rocket to remove the air from the flight path and thus reduce the resistance (see also the contribution surfers of APS).

In addition, these shock waves are also suitable for the air atmendometer magnetohydrodynamic fanjet engine of the lightcraft. By the "Airspike"-System can also be transported by means of a relatively low energy from point A to point B. Since chemical drives have too low energy efficiency compared to drives without compromising fuels, laser-stoked drives seem to be an attractor to cost a variety of people in circulation paths or space stations cost-effective and without distributing pollution.


The NASA Manager John Cole Responsible for Space Transport Research Results The Lightcraft Project for Auberst Pussy. Operating spacecraft ultralight on laser-based offers not only a reasonably priced alternative for flights of space, but also for hypersonic flights between the continents.

As the aest destination, Myrabo might use a 150 kW laser and use composite materials instead of aluminum to make the rocket even easier to do. Myrabo predicts that within the next 5-year 8-year engines can be developed with 1.5 m diameter, with which a payload of 50 kg could be transported to a low level of 200 km. This was allowed to revolutionize the transport of minisatellites through the LightCraft technology. However, the speeds of Mach 25, D are.H. 7.5 km / s, necessary. This requires laser to provide performance in the megawatt area. American scientists expire that according to powerful lasers could open a new ARA for the overshoot and hyperman lapse. The main in the investments in laser-fused missiles are the low cost, the simplicity of the construction and the rapid reactivity on customer charter.

Hybrid system

For later use, a hybrid system could be used, with the laser-trimmed drive system the spacecraft z.B. to 40.000 ft airflow. The air atmospheres turbine first creates a quasi-sizing thrust through the pulsating laser and allows a targeted control of the desired machinery for a specific travel trajectory. In the upper atmosphere, where the air density is too low for an air-tight engine, the expansion is then the expansion through a flow of flow (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen etc.) or water, which is also heated by the stationary laser on the ground to a plasma.

As a result, the space ride could accelerate up to geostationary orbits or up to a speed that allows the journey to the moon. One of the most important coarse for the rocket technology is the rocket formula of Ziolkowski, from which the for a mission calculate typical drive requirement in the form of a characteristic speed (Delta-V). For example, this is about 9 to 12 km / s for normal support rackets after the step principle. For low circular railways (up to 300 km high) is necessary, taking into account losses a characteristic speed of about 9.5 km / s. The escape speed for leaving the earthworks is 12.5 km / s. For an Earth Moon Earth Mission, a Delta-V of about 18 km / s is needed and a Delta-V of about 25 km / s for an earth Mars Earth mission.

Space visions

Light room ships open a radical departure from the principle of chemical missiles and their ocological problems for a positive regular transatmospharic and orbital transport of people and loads. The future of transport could be in laserhighways. A flat-placed network of lasers on the ground and later in space, as well as today’s GPS could make a global flight guide of lightcrafts.

Also, it could be a way of course, with this cost-minded alternative, passengers in the universe to be asked or by solar powered space laser old dreams of the colonization of the moon or Marses to make reality. With LightCraft transport systems, people in 45 minutes from New York to Australia could be requested and a trip to the moon could be carried out in fun and a half hours. Especially with regard to the development of the venture star and future hypershentation aircraft, the Lightcraft could not only prove a meaningful assessment, but maybe even develop one of the most important means of transport for the Millenium of Light.

Further piercing for future drive systems could be achieved due to new physical findings by the combined use of gravity, electromagnetism, vacuum fluctuations, warp drives, worm poses or quantum tunnel experiments. Time seems ripe for light-oriented innovations in the field of space travel, which can also positively influence our lives on earth.

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