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Concept for a laser propulsion based nanosat launch system

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  • Institut Für Technische Physik


Laser propulsion offers the potential to become a competitive alternative for the rapid, efficient transport of small satellites from ground into low earth orbit. Based on recent laser propulsion experiments in our laboratory at DLR we studied the mission characteristics for a 50 kg satellite launch. This comprises reflections on the available or required laser power, the transition of the lightcraft through the atmosphere, the laser range, the transmissivity of the atmosphere for the laser radiation, the turning of the vehicle for final orbit insertion and some general restrictions to the launch site. Finally we present a roadmap for the development of a commercial laser propulsion based launch system for nanosatellites in Europe.

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