Insterstellar laser-sailing: problems and solutionsDescription:
The October MAS meeting will be a virtual meeting hosted with Zoom.
Speaker: Victor Brar, Van Vleck Assistant Professor of Physics, UW-Madison.
In this talk Dr. Brar will summarize recent efforts that have been put into motion which aim to send spacecraft to Alpha Centauri at relativistic speeds, with a goal of receiving data back within our lifetimes. Those proposed missions hinge on developing laser sail technology, in which a high power (~100GW) laser propels a reflective spacecraft. He will discuss the stringent design parameters that the spacecraft must satisfy, and describe how those parameters can be achieved using recently developed ‘metasurface’ technology.