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A Comparison of Laser and Microwave Approaches to CW Beamed Energy Launch

Kare, Jordin T. and Parkin, Kevin L. G. (2006) A Comparison of Laser and Microwave Approaches to CW Beamed Energy Launch. In: Beamed energy propulsion: Fourth International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion, Nara, Japan, 15-18 November 2005. AIP Conference Proceedings. No.830. American Institute of Physics , Melville, NY, pp. 388-399. ISBN 0-7354-0322-8.

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One approach to beamed energy propulsion uses a solid heat exchanger to absorb energy from a distant source and transfer it to a working fluid. Systems of this type can be designed using either microwave or laser sources. In general, microwave sources have been expected to be less expensive than lasers for a given power, but to be more limited in range and/or energy density. With the development of high power millimeter-wave sources and low-cost diode laser arrays, both assumptions are open to question. In this paper, we compare current and projected microwave and laser source technologies for a 100-kilogram-class ground-to-orbit launch system and identify key issues affecting the system-level trade between the two approaches.

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Additional Information:© 2006 American Institute of Physics. The authors would like to thank Dr. James N. Benford of Microwave Sciences Inc. for his advice, particularly on HPM sources and phased arrays.
Subject Keywords:propulsion; laser beam applications; microwave technology; millimetre wave generation; semiconductor lasers
Series Name:AIP Conference Proceedings
Issue or Number:830
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KARaipcp06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5349
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:12 Oct 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:21

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