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Laser-boosted lightcraft technology demonstratorThe detailed description and performance analysis of a 1.4 meter diameter Lightcraft Technology Demonstator (LTD) is presented. The launch system employs a 100 MW-class ground-based laser to transmit power directly to an advanced combined-cycle engine that propels the 120 kg LTD to orbit - with a mass ratio of two. The single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) LTD machine then becomes an autonomous sensor satellite that can deliver precise, high quality information typical of today's large orbital platforms. The dominant motivation behind this study is to provide an example of how laser propulsion and its low launch costs can induce a comparable order-of-magnitude reduction in sensor satellite packaging costs. The issue is simply one of production technology for future, survivable SSTO aerospace vehicles that intimately share both laser propulsion engine and satellite functional hardware.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Richard, J. C.
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Troy, NY, United States)
Morales, C.
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Troy, NY, United States)
Smith, W. L.
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Troy, NY, United States)
Myrabo, L. N.
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Troy, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision-21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Space Vehicles
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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