Laser Propulsion

Launching satellites through Laser powered launch vehicle give low-cost access to space because no need to carry any onboard propellants and pollution is also reduced. Laser propulsion is a type of laser-powered thrust where the power source is a remote laser arrangement and separate from the response mass.

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A ground-based laser is the power source that pushes the launch vehicle into space. Launch vehicle can carry more payloads into space while the greater part of the engine remains on the ground. The propulsion of the vehicle is reliant on the external laser’s power source and so propulsive strength is not limited.

Project description

The back side of the spacecraft or launch vehicle is a massive, very polished parabolic reflector that is outlined to capture the laser beam towards it from the earth. The mirror focuses the beam, quickly warming the air to multiple times the temperature of the sun, making a shoot wave out the back that pushes the vehicle upward. The air in the rear area becomes heated and expands strongly in a laser assisted discharge, generating thrust. While the beam is quickly pulsed, the vehicle is continuously driven ahead, on its approach to orbit. A tiny quantity of hydrogen propellant is required for thrust when the environment is too thin to provide enough air. Below mentioned are the components required and their functions:

Carbon-di-oxide laser: The 10Kw pulsed carbon-di-oxide laser is used to propel the craft or vehicle which is the powerful one.

Parabolic reflector: The base of the spacecraft is a reflector that directs the laser beam into the engine. A secondary, ground-based antenna, the telescope-like reflector is used to focus the laser beam toward the craft.

Absorption container: The inlet air is guided into the container where it is heated by the beam, develops and moves the craft.

Making the craft: The craft is initially designed using software like CATIA, SolidWorks and fabricated using the material mild steel.

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Project Implementation

  1. To launch the vehicle, it is needed to spin it initially to certain RPM for stabilization.
  2. After the aircraft started spinning at a certain speed the laser is turned on.
  3. The laser oscillates at a frequency of 25-28 times per second which blasts the craft into space.

Software Requirements

CATIA: CATIA is a multi-platform software series for computer-aided drawing, computer-aided production, computer-aided engineering, PLM and 3D.

SOLIDWORKS: SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided drawing and computer-aided engineering machine program.

Technologies you will learn by working on laser propulsion

  1. Laser Propulsion
  2. Aerodynamics


  1. Propulsion energy source remains on the ground thus the weight of the craft is reduced.
  2. Manufacturing of the craft is also less compared to rockets.

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Kit required to develop Laser Propulsion:
Technologies you will learn by working on Laser Propulsion:
Laser Propulsion
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2019-12-11

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