Status Report

Stability of a Light Sail Riding on a Laser Beam

By SpaceRef Editor
October 3, 2016
Filed under , , ,
Stability of a Light Sail Riding on a Laser Beam

Zachary Manchester, Abraham Loeb (Harvard)
(Submitted on 29 Sep 2016)

The stability of a light sail riding on a laser beam is analyzed both analytically and numerically. Conical sails on Gaussian beams, which have been studied in the past, are shown to be unstable in general. A new architecture for a passively stable sail and beam configuration is proposed. The novel spherical shell sail design is capable of “beam riding” without the need for active feedback control. Full three-dimensional ray-tracing simulations are performed to verify our analytical results.

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Optics (physics.optics); Space Physics (
Cite as: arXiv:1609.09506 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1609.09506v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Zachary Manchester [view email]
[v1] Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:01:46 GMT (442kb,D) 

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