A solar powered reusable booster rocket

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GRØN DYST 2012 Technical University of Denmark

A solar powered reusable booster rocket
Author:Mikkel H. Jensen (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2012-06-22     Track: Main     Session: 1

To decrease harmful emissions from rocket launches and create a genuine low cost launch-on-demand space infrastructure, I propose using beamed solar power energy from Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants to power the first stage of a reusable Launch Vehicle (LV). By focusing mirrors from a high capacity CSP plant onto a flight trajectory path, it is possible to create a moving high energy region that can be collected by the LV using a heat exchanger. This eliminates the need for toxic propellants currently in use on other LVs. The concept allows for complex parts to stay on the ground, simplifying the space plane design and increasing the likelihood for greener, cheaper and more space launches.The project is a proof of concept, focusing on verifying two crucial elements in the launcher infrastructure; - Identifying potential sources of energy losses in the system to estimate the efficiency. - Investigating the total velocity boost capability of the system by performing a multivariable optimization