Hole-boring through clouds for laser power beaming

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Power beaming to satellites with a ground-based laser can be limited by clouds. Hole-boring through the clouds with a laser has been proposed as a way to overcome this obstacle. This paper reviews the past work on laser hole-boring and concludes that hole-boring for direct beaming to satellites is likely to require 10--100 MW. However, it may be possible to use an airborne relay mirror at 10--25 km altitude for some applications in order to extend the range of the laser (e.g., for beaming to satellites near the horizon). In these cases, use of the relay mirror also would allow ... continued below

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10 p.

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Lipinski, R.J. & Walter, R.F. December 31, 1994.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 19 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Lipinski, R.J. Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  • Walter, R.F. W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Power beaming to satellites with a ground-based laser can be limited by clouds. Hole-boring through the clouds with a laser has been proposed as a way to overcome this obstacle. This paper reviews the past work on laser hole-boring and concludes that hole-boring for direct beaming to satellites is likely to require 10--100 MW. However, it may be possible to use an airborne relay mirror at 10--25 km altitude for some applications in order to extend the range of the laser (e.g., for beaming to satellites near the horizon). In these cases, use of the relay mirror also would allow a narrow beam between the laser and the relay, as well as the possibility of reducing the crosswind if the plane matched speed with the cloud temporarily. Under these conditions, the power requirement to bore a hole through most cirrus and cirrostratus clouds might be only 500-kW if the hole is less than 1 m in diameter and if the crosswind speed is less than 10 m/s. Overcoming cirrus and cirrostratus clouds would reduce the downtime due to weather by a factor of 2. However, 500 kW is a large laser, and it may be more effective instead to establish a second power beaming site in a separate weather zone. An assessment of optimum wavelengths for hole boring also was made, and the best options were found to be 3.0--3.4 {mu}m and above 10 {mu}m.

Physical Description

10 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95007757

Source

  • SPIE `95: SPIE conference on optics, electro-optics, and laser application in science, engineering and medicine, San Jose, CA (United States), 5-14 Feb 1995

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  • Other: DE95007757
  • Report No.: SAND--94-2000C
  • Report No.: CONF-950226--15
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 28317
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc671359

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Creation Date

  • December 31, 1994

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 4:02 p.m.

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Lipinski, R.J. & Walter, R.F. Hole-boring through clouds for laser power beaming, article, December 31, 1994; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc671359/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.