Photon Propulsion Breakthrough Could Cut Mars Transit From Six Months to a Week

Sep 06, 2007, 01:00 ET from Bae Institute

    TUSTIN, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The aerospace industry has
 taken notice of a California researcher who, using off-the-shelf
 components, built and successfully demonstrated the world's first
 successful amplified photon thruster. Dr. Young Bae of the Bae Institute
 first demonstrated his Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) with an amplification
 factor of 3,000 in December, 2006.
     Major aerospace agencies and primary contractors have since invited Bae
 to present his work, including NASA JPL, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research
 Projects Agency), and AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory). Senior
 Aerospace Engineer at AFRL, Dr. Franklin Mead, "Dr. Bae's PLT demonstration
 and measurement of photon thrust (is) pretty incredible. I don't think
 anyone has done this before. It has generated a lot of interest."
     Recently, the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, a peer-reviewed AIAA
 (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) (
 Journal, accepted Dr. Bae's PLT demonstration paper, "Photonic Laser
 Propulsion: Proof-of-Concept Demonstration" for publication this year. In
 his paper Bae documents in explicit detail how he overcame the inherent
 inefficiencies of traditional photon thrusters in generating thrust by
 amplification with the use of an innovative optical cavity concept. For
 decades rocket scientists have tried to overcome the inefficiency of photon
 thrusters by amplification based on optical cavities separated from laser
 sources, but failed. In contrast, Bae's patent-pending PLT breakthrough
 places the laser medium within a resonant optical cavity between two
 platforms to produce a very stable and reliable thrust that is unaffected
 by mirror movement and vibration -- ideal for spacecraft control or
     Dr. Bae will be presenting his PLT concepts, demonstration, and
 applications at the AIAA Space 2007 Conference 18-19 September 2007 in Long
 Beach, CA, in four sessions: Space Transportation Systems, Promising Space
 Concepts from the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts (NIAC), Space Systems
 for the Next 50 Years, and Advanced Vehicle Systems.
     The PLT research was partially funded by NIAC (NASA Institute of
 Advanced Concepts) as part of a spacecraft formation flight concept grant.
     Bae's PLT demonstration produced a photon thrust of 35 uN, which is
 sufficient for several space missions currently envisioned, and is scalable
 to achieve much greater photon thrust for future space missions.
 Applications for PLT include: highly precise satellite formation flying
 configurations for building large synthetic apertures in space for earth or
 space observation, precision contaminant-free spacecraft docking
 operations, and propelling spacecraft to unprecedented speeds greater than
 100 km/sec.
     Bae, looking forward with anticipation, observes, "This is the tip of
 the iceberg. PLT has immense potential for the aerospace industry. For
 example, PLT powered spacecraft could transit the 100 million km to Mars in
 less than a week." Several aerospace players have expressed intent to
 collaborate with the Bae Institute to further develop and integrate PLT
 into civilian, military, and commercial space systems.
     Laboratory photo images available for download:
     Photon Laser Thrust demonstration:
     The Bae Institute was founded in 2002 by Dr. Young K. Bae for the
 purpose of developing highly innovative space technologies for commercial
 and government applications. Dr. Bae has pursued advanced propulsion
 concepts such as photon, antimatter and fusion propulsion for more than 20
 years at SRI International, Brookhaven National Lab, and the Air Force
 Research Lab after obtaining a Ph.D. in atomic and nuclear physics from UC
     For more information contact:
     Dr. Young K. Bae
     Bae Institute
     218 W Main St., Suite 102
     Tustin, CA 92780 USA
     Phone: (714) 838-2881

SOURCE Bae Institute