P4_2 Beam Me Up

Suzanne Thomas, David Starkey, Declan Roberts, James Nelms


The effects of sending a laser powered platform to low Earth orbit are investigated. We consider the effects of drag, attenuation by the atmosphere and divergence of the laser beam. It is found that a 1000kg platform could be accelerated to an altitude of 200km using an average laser power of 1.8 terawatts; however it is unfeasible to extend this argument to a much more massive space shuttle sized object.

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