Cruise | Interplanetary dust

Since the trajectory to Alpha Centauri would take the nanocrafts away from the ecliptic plane of the solar system, there would be much less impact from solar system dust than from interstellar dust.

Little is currently known about the dust content in the Alpha Centauri star system.

Apr 13, 2016 07:53 xix3r0ix@gmail.com Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Maybe it would be possible to augment the laser array to interact with the stellar dust, and fire bursts prior to launch? If there would be some way to measure how the beam interacts with stellar dust in our system, that data could be used to either clear a path, or find out other possibilities.
Alternatively, maybe a first wave could be sent prior to launch with sails that are designed to clear a path to minimize impact with the more sensitive Starchips. Just a few thoughts, such an incredible endeavor.

Apr 23, 2016 23:04 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

With two suns in the AC I would think dust would not be very common, that's a lot of light to move them about.

Jul 25, 2016 03:19 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Apr 23, 2016 23:04 michael.million@sky.com Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives:
"With two suns in the AC I would think dust would not be very common, that's a lot of light to move them about."

The luminosity of alphaC A and B are similar to the Sun, so not clear that the situation is much better than the Solar System.

– Prof. Sasha Buchman, Breakthrough Initiatives

Jul 25, 2016 03:20 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Apr 13, 2016 07:53 xix3r0ix@gmail.com Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives:

"Maybe it would be possible to augment the laser array to interact with the stellar dust, and fire bursts prior to launch? If there would be some way to measure how the beam interacts with stellar dust in our system, that data could be used to either clear a path, or find out other possibilities.
Alternatively, maybe a first wave could be sent prior to launch with sails that are designed to clear a path to minimize impact with the more sensitive Starchips. Just a few thoughts, such an incredible endeavor."


Maybe it would be possible to augment the laser array to interact with the stellar dust, and fire bursts prior to launch? If there would be some way to measure how the beam interacts with stellar dust in our system, that data could be used to either clear a path, or find out other possibilities.
Alternatively, maybe a first wave could be sent prior to launch with sails that are designed to clear a path to minimize impact with the more sensitive Starchips. Just a few thoughts, such an incredible endeavor.

– Sasha Buchman, Breakthrough Initiatives

Aug 26, 2016 11:39 william@theroses.me.uk Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

The laser interacting with the dust would not matter because it would be too weak by that point to do anything. I do not know this but I think so.

Dec 06, 2016 18:31 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

RE:
"Aug 26, 2016 11:39 william@theroses.me.uk Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

The laser interacting with the dust would not matter because it would be too weak by that point to do anything. I do not know this but I think so."

Answer:
You are correct the earth based laser maybe powerful enough to clear the path to Mars orbit. But much past that it will not have enough power to move the particles out of the way. Thank you for your ideas.

- Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Starshot

Dec 13, 2017 18:10 miles1w@outlook.com Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

I am no expert in this area but commend you on your fantastic initiative. I am curious about your calculations regarding the number of interactions with 0.1 micron particles, the number received and the damage to the structure, analogous in mind to a spark eroder.
What I find fascinating is that during your challenge, you will in effect be flying through the 4th dimension for the first time, at 0.2C, where some relativistic effects may be noted.
I would love to learn more about the Oort cloud, its composition, leftover particles and dust from objects able to leave ours and Alpha Centuri's orbits along with our solar system's orbit around the milky way, every 245m years, and projected interactions with nearby neighbors, both gravitationally as well as any electromagnetic activity of note sending ions, radiation and matter across projected trajectories.
I would be really disappointed if a catastrophic event during time with interstellar dust occurred through not being able to detect an object of some mass greater than 10microns and being able to manage that interaction without trauma whilst being able to sustain a tolerance greater than the expected number of 0.1micron particles

Feb 26, 2018 21:30 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Reply:
Thank you for your contribution. Relevant material is discussed in the above thread.

Sep 13, 2018 16:29 Breakthrough Initiatives Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives

Reply:

We share your enthusiasm for the Breakthrough Starshot design! As you are alluding, the scientific knowledge obtainable with Starshot is by no means limited to Proxima Centauri as a potentially habitable planet. Targets in the solar system, even in the far outer reaches beyond Pluto, will be easily accessible. Obviously we share your concerns about interstellar and interplanetary dust. Recent work by Hoang, Lazarian, Loeb and Burkhart (see http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aa5da6/pdf ) suggests that the risk from dust is quite manageable, though of course multiple spacecraft should be sent on this interstellar voyage so that even if one encounters a particularly large dust grain, others will complete the journey successfully. Other recent papers of interest by Hoang and Loeb are
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aa8c73/pdf
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/aac3db/pdf

- John Forbes and Avi Loeb (Harvard), Breakthrough Starshot

Sep 14, 2019 23:49 cewcathar@hotmail.com Posted on: Centauri Dreams

It's best IMO to model comet and dust configurations based on current understanding of perturbations in orbits of known Oort Cloud comets and of galactic tidal effects
and of the clouds in our area (the local interstellar medium; the local cloud; the G cloud which is closer to alpha centauri)
and of course of the pull of the alpha centauri system (the A and B stars will pull a lot but not Proxima but at less than 2 light years southwards of Earth the gravitational pull on rotating bodies and dust should be stronger from the alpha centauri system than from our own)
I would avoid at all costs sailing directly toward the galactic center from which gamma rays come --
I would always sail at an angle to that center even if it means some tacking (how will one do that? if there are lasers or other means to change direction on board it is possible I suppose)
Models of dust in the various systems and its ionization at the travel speed and interaction with magnetic fields should be developed -- I much prefer a rotating toroidal craft with high-temp superconducting wires around the circumference to create a magnetic field but can also see a bullet design
--C. E. Whitehead

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