Exploiting the Sun as a Gravitational Lens

Claudio Maccone

DEEP SPACE FLIGHT AND COMMUNICATIONS Deep Space Flight and Communications explores the science and technology of space missions to the edge of the Solar System and beyond, even into interstellar space, as they are currently envisaged.

It examines the focusing effect of the Sun as a gravitational lens, and discusses how this can be exploited for interstellar exploration. The book also propounds the scientific investigations which may be carried out along the way, the requirements for exiting the Solar System at the highest speed, and a range of project ideas for missions entering interstellar space.

The second part of the book deals with the key problem of communication between an interstellar spaceship and the Earth, especially where the high speeds involved make the use of special relativity unavoidable. It details a range of important mathematical tools relating to the Karhunen-Loève Transform for optimal telecommunications, and allows astronautical engineers to understand the important applications of the results without becoming too involved in the mathematical proofs.

Table of Contents

Preface to earlier works
List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations and acronyms
A brief overview of the Sun as a gravitaional lens

  PART I Space missions to the Sun's gravity focus (550 to 1,000 AU)
  1. So much gain at 550 AU
  2. Scientific investigations along the way to 550 AU
  3. Magnifying the nearby stellar systems
  4. Astrodynamics to exit the solar system at the highest speed
  5. SETI and the FOCAL space mission
  6. GL-SETI (gravitational lensing SETI): Receiving far ETI signals focused by the gravity of       other stars
  7. The gravitational lenses of Alpha Centauri A,B,C and of Barnard ’s Star
  8. The Coronal Plasma ‘‘pushing’’ the focus of the gravity + plasma lens far beyond 550 AU
  9. NASA ’s Interstellar Probe (ISP:2010-2070?) and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)

  PART II KLT-optimized telecommunications
  10. A simple introduction to the KLT
  11. KLT of radio signals from relativistic spaceships in uniform and decelerated motion
  12. KLT of radio signals from relativistic spaceships in hyperbolic motion
  13. KLT of radio signals from relativistic spaceships in arbitrary motion
  14. Genetics aboard relativistic spaceships

A. Engineering tradeoffs for the ‘‘FOCAL’’ spacecraft antenna
B. ‘‘FOCAL’’ Sun flyby characteristics
C. Mission to the solar gravitational focus by solar sailing
D. ‘‘FOCAL’’ radio interferometry by a tethered system
E. Interstellar propulsion by Sunlensing
F. Brownian motion and its time rescaling
G. Maccone First KLT Theorem: KLT of all time-rescaled Brownian motions
H. KLT of B(t2H) time-rescaled Brownian motion
I. Maccone Second KLT Theorem: KLT of all time-rescaled Brownian motions
J. KLT of the B2(t2H) time-rescaled square Brownian motion
K. A Matlab code for KLT simulations

Extent: 432 pages
Binding: Hardback
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-3-540-72942-6

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