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Laser Cannon planned for ISS


KerbMav
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Mmmh - i really would like to see those infos :) but that sounds weird.

By trying to be logical, A laser impacting a debris will start to basically try to bore a hole into whatever debris is targeted - the resulting plasma can only escape from one side, creating a reaction on the part (directionnal thrust)- but the resulting plasma should not have any other effect on the part once expelled (the same way a rocket's exhaust don't affect the rocket which expelled it)

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It makes sense to me - if you shoot the debris from the ground, there is a very low chance to impart prograde momentum (the debris orbits, and you probably won't be shooting a high powered laser right over the horizon), which of course would be undesirable if you want to deorbit the thing. Realistically, you will most likely impart a radial-out thrust to the debris, which puts its periapsis deeper into the atmosphere, causing it to re-enter sooner. At least that's how I would imagine it.

Of course, when shooting from orbit it could (and probably is) different.

Edited by Deutherius
typos, wording
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What are the advantages to mounting it on ISS vs. a freestanding satellite? All I see so far is perhaps ISS has surplus electrical power. But solar cells aren't that expensive, while mounting it on ISS will require EVAs, won't it?

Plus, on a freestanding satellite, the laser could even deorbit itself for free, at end of life. :)

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What are the advantages to mounting it on ISS vs. a freestanding satellite? All I see so far is perhaps ISS has surplus electrical power. But solar cells aren't that expensive, while mounting it on ISS will require EVAs, won't it?

Plus, on a freestanding satellite, the laser could even deorbit itself for free, at end of life. :)

It might be easier to develop an "add-on" for ISS than making a whole new satellite. It might also prove useful, should it function so well that it would be able to redirect incoming debris that cannot be avoided otherwise.

Also, the ISS is already scheduled for decommision and deorbiting, so no problems there :)

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What are the advantages to mounting it on ISS vs. a freestanding satellite? All I see so far is perhaps ISS has surplus electrical power. But solar cells aren't that expensive, while mounting it on ISS will require EVAs, won't it?

The thing to keep in mind is that this is a test of the system, and if they need to fix or upgrade hardware, that may be easier at the ISS than launching a whole new satellite, depending on the nature of the work.

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