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Manchester, Zachary; Loeb, Abraham (2016)
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Languages: English
Types: Preprint
Subjects: Physics - Space Physics, Physics - Optics, Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics

Classified by OpenAIRE into

arxiv: Physics::Popular Physics, Physics::Space Physics, Quantitative Biology::Other, Physics::Accelerator Physics
The stability of a light sail riding on a laser beam is analyzed both analytically and numerically. Conical sails on Gaussian beams, which have been studied in the past, are shown to be unstable without active control or additional mechanical modifications. A new architecture for a passively stable sail and beam configuration is proposed. The novel spherical shell design for the sail is capable of "beam riding" without the need for active feedback control. Full three-dimensional ray-tracing simulations are performed to verify our analytical results.
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