Potential of laser-induced ablation for future space applications

Alison Gibbings, Massimiliano Vasile, John-Mark Hopkins, David Burns, Ian A. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)
165 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper surveys recent and current advancements of laser-induced ablation technology for space-based applications and discusses ways of bringing such applications to fruition. Laser ablation is achieved by illuminating a given material with a laser light source. The high surface power densities provided by the laser enable the illuminated material to sublimate and ablate. Possible applications include the deflection of Near Earth Objects asteroids and comets from an Earth-impacting event, the vaporisation of space structures and debris, the mineral and material extraction of asteroids and/or as an energy source for future propulsion systems. This paper will discuss each application and the technological advancements that are required to make laser-induced ablation a practical process for use within the space arena. Particular improvements include the efficiency of high power lasers, the collimation of the laser beam (including beam quality) and the power conversion process. These key technological improvements are seen as strategic and merit greater political and commercial support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalSpace Policy
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Fingerprint

Space applications
Ablation
ablation
laser
Asteroids
Lasers
asteroids
lasers
Earth (planet)
energy source
near Earth objects
Beam quality
High power lasers
asteroid
collimation
Laser ablation
energy sources
propulsion
comets
Vaporization

Keywords

  • laser ablation
  • space applications
  • near Earth objects
  • asteroid deflection

Cite this

Gibbings, Alison ; Vasile, Massimiliano ; Hopkins, John-Mark ; Burns, David ; Watson, Ian A. / Potential of laser-induced ablation for future space applications. In: Space Policy. 2012 ; Vol. 28, No. 3. pp. 149-153.
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Gibbings, A, Vasile, M, Hopkins, J-M, Burns, D & Watson, IA 2012, 'Potential of laser-induced ablation for future space applications', Space Policy, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 149-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spacepol.2012.06.008

Potential of laser-induced ablation for future space applications. / Gibbings, Alison; Vasile, Massimiliano; Hopkins, John-Mark; Burns, David; Watson, Ian A.

In: Space Policy, Vol. 28, No. 3, 08.2012, p. 149-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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