August 20th, 2007
That was my question when I read the previous posting from the Andromeda Connection. A Laser is coherent light, sunlight is not. I did a quick Google on the term and found a few sites that discussed “Solar Lasers” (including selling them to heat swimming pools). It still didn’t sound right to me and, with today’s posting at the Andromeda Connection’s website, the mystery is cleared up.
From the post:
“On the other hand, even though the MOLPSoL doesn’t use a single frequency of light as defined by a true laser, it can be tuned to a relatively narrow bandwidth. A collimated beam of white light cannot maintain convergence due to the different frequencies of light interfering with each other thereby causing divergence in the beam (in English: the photons, or light particles, traveling at different speeds collide with each other and cause the beam to spread). However, a well tunned MOLPSoL, using a fairly narrow bandwidth, can maintain convergence for fairly long distances.”
This is, in essence, a similiar technique to what the KC Space Pirates did last year. The Space Pirates used a large number of mirrors to focus sunlight onto a collector on the climber itself. The climber then further focused this light onto the photovoltaic cells onboard. However, if I’m reading between the lines correctly here, the Andromeda Connection technique will be to do the “final focusing” at the ground and beam the convergent output to the climber.
Read the whole post here…