/Powering Communication for an Interstellar Probe

Powering Communication for an Interstellar Probe

Power supply for interstellar probe. Source: NASA Glenn Research Center.

Summary: A new device to power communication for an interstellar probe could weight only a couple of grams.

Original author and publication date: Brian Wang – February 21, 2020

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: A power supply with a weight of only two grams (0.07 ounces). At that rate, the engine for a starship will be the size of a battery or so.

From the article:

There was a November 2019, NASA Workshop on Interstellar Propulsion. It was part of the 2019 Interstellar Symposium. The workshop focused on physics-based propulsion technologies that have the potential to meet the goal of launching an interstellar probe within the next century and achieving .1c transit velocity: Beamed Energy Propulsion, Fusion, and Antimatter.

The state-of-the-art of each was examined, and competing approaches to advancing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) were presented and assessed for synthesis into a report that will serve as the blueprint for possible future interstellar propulsion technology development.

Geoffrey Landis looked at providing power for communication for an interstellar probe that weighs a couple of grams. He looks at using a system to generate power from a system that has been accelerated to 10-20% of the speed of light. The probe would interact with the interstellar plasma and with magnetic fields of the target solar system.

READ the complete original story here.