Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
2016 Photonics Buyers' Guide Clearance! – Use Coupon Code FC16 to save 60%!
share
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

Incoming asteroid! Set lasers on “vaporize”

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2013
As this issue went to press, an asteroid roughly half as large as a football field – and with energy equal to that of a large hydrogen bomb – readied for a flyby of Earth. A proposed system could eliminate a threat of this size in the span of an hour, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and California Polytechnic State University. The DE-STAR (Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation) system would harness the sun’s power and convert it into a massive phased array of laser beams to destroy (evaporate) asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth. DE-STAR also could alter an asteroid’s orbit – deflecting it away from Earth or into the sun – and even be a valuable tool for assessing an asteroid’s composition, enabling lucrative rare-element mining. Scaled-up versions of the system could have a number of other uses, too, possibly including aiding in planetary exploration by powering advanced ion drive systems for deep space travel.


Comments
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!