The Laser Starway: A Light Bridge to the Closest Stars

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C. J. Quarra (2016), JBIS, 69, pp.73-82

Refcode: 2016.69.73
Keywords: Interstellar flight, laser propulsion, lightway, starway, light bridge, star bridge, photon sail, beamed propulsion

Beamed laser propulsion for interstellar flight is promising but it is severely limited by beam divergence over interstellar distances. In the current work, a system of power relays is proposed to deliver and route light power to accelerate and decelerate ships flying in both directions between two stars, as well to keep the relays in their equilibrium positions. The system, once deployed, creates a natural radiation roadway where interstellar dust grains tend to evaporate, addressing the problem of relativistic impacts with high-speed ships.

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