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View Full Version : Query on some solar output thingy

Nadeshiko_Hiragashiki
2003-Jun-01, 01:24 AM
What is the output of the sun, e.g could a solar sail move a 3.1-5.6 ton object? Could microwave radiation collected ?

Archer17
2003-Jun-01, 01:46 AM
I'm sure more knowledgable people will follow up but I believe the answer is yes regarding your payload question. I know I read somewhere that lasers could be used in addition to the sun to propell it. I would imagine the sail would have to be pretty big. That's the limit of my expertise, I'm afraid. I imagine a google search will help you out if no one else picks up on this

Argos
2003-Jun-01, 08:29 PM
Try the siteŽs search engine with the words "solar sail", choosing "search for all terms". YouŽll have many entrie, since this subject has been extensively discussed here.

daver
2003-Jun-02, 08:20 PM
What is the output of the sun, e.g could a solar sail move a 3.1-5.6 ton object? Could microwave radiation collected ?

Just to put some numbers out, one square meter of sail would generate about 10 micronewtons of thrust at 1 AU (assuming the page i found has the right numbers). If that square meter massed a gram, you'd get an acceleration of about 0.01 meters/sec/sec (one milli-g). Assuming the same 1 gram/square meter "density", you get 1 square km of sail massing 1 ton. Ten tons of sail (10 square kilometers of sail) plus 5 tons of payload is going to accelerate at maybe 6 mm/sec/sec (80 km/hour/hour if you like, or .5 km/sec/day). Reducing the density of the sail material improves perfomance. So does increasing the amount of light hitting the sail. Increasing the amount of light hitting the sail (either by sailing closer to the sun or augmenting the solar output with a laser array)l will increase the temperature of the sail, which might cause it to melt.