Project Forward

Description: This is a design project initiated in 2012 It is a study performed by members of Icarus Interstellar and affiliated organizations with expertise in the field of beamed propulsion. The study will involve: 1. Analyzing past concepts to see if they are off-optimal, in terms of the recent cost-optimized model, so can be improved. Then quantify such improved sail system concepts. 2. Exploring properties of materials that are being used for solar sails or have been suggested for beam-powered sails to determine their practicality. In particular, studying their properties in several domains of EM (microwave, millimeter wave, laser) to find out what accelerations they are limited to due to heating in the beam. 3. Quantifying an alternate use of sails-deceleration of sail probes from a fusion-powered starship as it approaches stellar systems.

Members: Jim Benford, Adam Crowl.

Key References:

  • Forward, R.L, Starwisp: An Ultra-Light Interstellar Probe, 22, 3, pp.345-350, May /June 1985.
  • Forward, R.L, Roundtrip Interstellar Travel Using Laser-Pushed Lightsails, J.Spacecraft, 21, 2, pp.187-195, March-April 1984.

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