Electromagnetic Starship Deceleration In A Stellar Wind

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G.L. Matloff (2009), JBIS, 62, 66-68

Refcode: 2009.62.66
Keywords: Starship deceleration, electromagnetic braking, stellar wind

Previous analysis has concentrated on two modes of thrustless interstellar deceleration. These are electromagnetic (EM) reflection of interstellar ions before arrival in the destination planetary system and solar sail deceleration to planetary velocities. The former approach is less effective for low starship velocities. The latter requires a close pass of the destination star. Here, a third mode of interstellar deceleration is considered in which a starship's EM field is used to reflect the destination star's stellar wind. In these calculations, it is assumed that the stellar wind approximates the Quiet Sun solar wind, is radially directed from the destination star, and is invariant during the deceleration process. The spacecraft's effective EM field radius is assumed to increase linearly with distance from the destination star. It is demonstrated that a 1000-3000 km effective EM field radius (at 1 AU from the destination star) can significantly reduce the velocity of 107-kg starships, supplementing or replacing other deceleration modes.

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