Light Beamer | Phase

In order to test the feasibility of the system, the case of a meter-scale sail was examined. For example, to focus the light beam on a 4mX4m sail across an acceleration distance of 2x106 km requires a focusing angle of 2 nano-radians (0.4 milliarcseconds), which is the diffraction limit for a kilometer-scale light beamer operating at a wavelength of 1 micron.

Interferometry with the Event Horizon Telescope has already been demonstrated across the Earth, achieving sub-nano-radian precision at a 1mm wavelength. This is an encouraging benchmark on the way to achieving the required precision of the optical system for a kilometer-scale array on the ground.

Comments (32)

  1. Breakthrough Initiatives:

    Apr 11, 2017 Posted on: Centauri Dreams

    Doping the fiber in clever ways during manufacturing may enable some really interesting things. Ultimately, it will probably require several new technologies to meet the very challenging requirements of the laser system.

    - Zac Manchester, Breakthrough Starshot

  2. John Weiss:

    The craft should keep itself on-lock, rather than expecting the beam to constantly re-focus.

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