Beamed Propulsion by Gravitational Waves

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K. Mori (2011), JBIS, 64, 396-400

Refcode: 2011.64.396
Keywords: Propulsion, gravitational waves

A new concept of beamed propulsion by a remotely transmitted beam of gravitational waves (GWs) is introduced. Its theoretical possibilities are investigated within the framework of the theory of general relativity and a weak energy condition. Under the assumption that the artificially controlled beaming of gravitational waves is possible, it is demonstrated that the flight time of a spacecraft can be reduced while it travels across the area of influence of a GW beam. Two different kinds of GW-beam solutions are considered: First, a Gaussian beam solution, which satisfies the linearized Einstein equation in vacuum approximate solution, is introduced. As a result, flight-time saving is possible using a linear Gaussian beam while a beam solution of finite strength violates the weak energy condition. Second, it is demonstrated that flight-time saving can be achieved by using a non-linear wave packet which exactly satisfies the Einstein equation in vacuum and the energy conditions outside the source of the gravitational waves.

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