It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Giant magnifing glass from Space?

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 09:10 PM
ok, so this is only a theory and a whacky one at that but it is still plausable.

I guess most people are aware that there is a lot of man made objects orbiting the earth (as i write this 28541 have been launched and 8699 still on orbit- i should know it is my job to track them - no link needed- but you can look it up if you wish to refute me) most of these objects are nothing more than junk (including a glove) but a good number of them are satellites and satellites tend to come in constellations - as in there is more than one of the same sort of satellite up there doing the same job so as to cover a larger section of the earth. GPS is one that comes to mind that most everyone should be familiar with. Currently there are 24 PRIMARY sats about 20,000km out, and they are set so that at any given period of time there are at a minimum 4 sats in view of any given spot on the earth.
you may sub in or add to this any other constellation you wish for the purposes of the "theory" such as Iridian (much lower orbit- many more sats) the point here is the idea- not a particular set of sats.

most people should be equally aware that satelittes are usually solar powered with VERY FEW exceptions. Additionally, every sat (except sun sinc) must be able to operate without a view of the sun for some period of the day (when it goes behind the earth realative to the sun) so having on-board batteries is not uncommon and these sats can operate with out solar power for periods of time. The area for most solar panels is quite large on any given single satellite (that is not spin stabilized). Now imagine how many square meters of panels are available with a whole constellation . . . .

are you with me so far?

now imagine for the sake of this hypothetical situation that the back of the solar panels in one (or several) of these constellations is highly mirrored, and can be precision aligned by a central computer in conjunction with the other sats in view so as to make a giant PHASED ARRAY solar oven (or magnifing glass) that can be focus the suns energy hitting those panels on several sats onto the earth in a small area. Even just for a little time.

i know as a kid i would light things on fire pretty easily with a little 1 inch magnifing glass. All you had to do was get the thing in focus and the distance from lense to target had to do with the curvature of the lense and the angle of the sun. Later i began experimenting with mirrors and let me tell you it does not take much area to light something up if the angles are right! And of course the more area you had and the higher the precision you aligned the mirrors the faster something would suddenly combust. Many a hot dog was over cooked on such a solar mirror throughout my childhood.

Can you imagine being able to set forest fires (very believeable in this situation) in foreign countries all by setting some coordinates in a computer in some ground station? the panels on these sats flip to focus the suns energy on those coordinates and poof a fire starts at the focus point - leaving no tell-tell evidence nor a recognisable threat from space to any ground observers or someone not in on the design of the sats- after all how could someone know once the sats went back to their normal function a mear few secs. (cloud cover would be a factor)

How about outright assassination via solar power? if the focus could be sharp enough just align the focus point on some poor souls head. POP- goes the weasel. (pretty sci-fy with what is known at this point in time due to the distances- tracking a realtively small moving target and such).

Ok just some hypothetical "what-ifs" mostly with in the relm of possibility. Question is does the US govenment (most sats belong to them) or any other have anything like this up there or planned? kind of scary huh? Heard of any important someones dieing in fires of late? Any heads exploding or people running around doing a Micheal Jackson Pepsi commercial impression? Mysterious car accidents where part of the car is singed or burnt? Suspicious industrial accidents?

on your marks, get set, de-bunkers GO!

posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 09:17 PM
Would it generate more heat than a laser at a lesser cost?

posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 09:36 PM
the amount of heat would depend on the total surface area of the solar panels. Maybe the solar panel thing would never reasonably have enough heat to knock out a missile but i imagine it could certainly start some fires.

Lasers in use today require fuel-not just electricity- look up anything concering the airborn laser project. a 747 with a laser in its nose has only 13 shots! i'd call that pretty darn expensive and well outside the bounds of a space born laser. Can you imaging the cost to lob that into space only for 13 shots! At least the solar theory has virtually unlimited shots- provided enought time is used in energy gathering mode to charge the batteries.

posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 07:05 PM
Somethign tells me you just saw A Bond movie, Die Another Day was it? with teh Giant Iccarus Mirror system that focused the light of the sun on the earth as a giant weapon.

a giant mirror array might be possible, but it'd have to be pretty huge.
A lense, however, would not be plausible because it'd break to easilly. Remember, the bigger something is, the more likely it would break. Take dish satelites. One big one is equal to a buncha little ones arrayed together. One big one would be incredibly hard to build considering the massive weight it'd have to hold. A buncha little ones are easier to make. thats an array or mirrors would be more plausible then a giant magnifying glass

posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:26 PM
i guess they did have something similar on the bond movie now that you mention it. i guess the primary difference here is that that was a single sat that the folks on earth knew about and could be shot down (though it wasn't in the movie) - think ground laser which several countries have.

i think i was more influenced by a combination of the movie "The Arrival" with Charlie Sean where he set up a radio telescope using a phased array of peoples sat dishes and a discovery tv show about a solar oven in Nevada.

my theory propses an array of several sats with otherwise "harmless" functions and would only be deplyed in its destructive capacity for extreme short periods of time so as to be completely untraceable and several sats would have to be taken out before it lost its destructive capacity giving it time to take out the what ever was shooting at it.

i understand the a lot of the larger optical telescopes use arrays of tiny/ pizo electric positional mirrors to make up large parabolic mirrors

posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:59 PM
The rocket motors and fuel required to maneuver and situate such a massive piece of hardware would never be cost effective.

With the developing countries (i.e. China and Europe, not the UK) developing manned-space programs, such a device would be extremely difficult to defend.

To park it in Geo-sync orbit wouldn't be a very good idea, given the fact that it would be stationary over one spot on Earth. Not a very good weapons platform unless it was over China or France.

Plus, the size of the dish would have to be the size of Arkansas to get an effective focal-point.

Just my opinions on the matter, no research conducted!

BTW, I'm just being sarcastic (please don't take offensively) when I mentioned France and Europe in the above statements (but not China).

posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 10:35 PM
Something called the "inverse square law" would render it nothing more than a twinkle in the sky.

Inverse square law says that "at twice the distance, the energy is only 1/4th as strong." So even at a million degrees right at the surface, things cool down pretty fast.

posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 11:30 PM
Interearthling- i think you missed the point- please re-read at a minimum my privious post- numerous sats normally doing other job- GPS for instance. surface area (back side of existing solar panels) adds up a little (realative) from each sat in a constellation. no need for Geo stationary for a constillation like GPS at a minimum 4 are in coverage for ever square meter of the earths surface 24/7 though they keep swapping out- all it needs is a good computer to coordinate positioning of the mirror arrays.

Byrd- don't know what your background is- sound pretty educated- but inverse square law is generally used for wave theory- and even though light is a wave and it should also hold for radiation, the statement is really is off the point. here is why:

Last i checked the temp at the surface of any point of a solar mirror is the exact same as 2 inches to the left/right/above/below it- or on the top of your head if you are holding it- not really any danger there- nor anything to be lost to the inverse square.

idea is the FOCUS POINT- surface of mirror may not have an increase in temp but you can sure bet that the focus point is going to be substantially different. i've used palm sized parobolic mirrors to light stuff on fire and this is after the sun has been difused by the atmosphere. imagine the power possible if using direct sunlight before it gets diffused if you compensate for the atmosphere afterwards (see airborne laser link above).

i am also not talking about melting through the armour of a tank- could be as simple as igniting combustibles weither it be a forest, oil refinery, or someones crops - not really that much power required even given the long distance of space. but if that sort of heavy duty power is required then up the input sq footage of the mirrors.

somethings that would be issues:
- atmopheric interference- pretty much solved with the airborne laser project- read the above link or one of the ones tied to it- i'm not re-looking it up for you.
- total surface area of mirrors - still looking for numbers but there is a lot of stuff up there with large differences in sq meters and most is not forthcoming. then this area compared to the footprint of the focused area on the ground. BIG issue-
- refective index of panels - nothing can be proven here since only a hypothesis- i could present a possible relm of reflective index if you really insist- but what would be the point?
- precision to which panels can be focused- another area next to impossible to prove at this time but the telesopes mentioned in my previous post may be a good area to start.

some related links: (check out 3rd century BCE!) (great article on the loss of suns power to the atmosphere- and why space based mirror would be much more potent)

posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 11:38 PM
oh yeah check out the pigs link above-

from live animal to cooked bacon in .1 seconds!! now that is some power!

gross but oh so funny!

posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 02:52 AM

Originally posted by Intelearthling

With the developing countries (i.e. China and Europe, not the UK) developing manned-space programs, such a device would be extremely difficult to defend.

That was a insult ,Europe has a long and Rich history in space programs.

The ARIANE launcer is the worlds most advance spacecraft and has a large market space .

Even the Ballistic Missile was born in europe (German V-2 )

posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 10:58 AM
Do a search for inflatable Fresnel lens and negative refraction, add size, steroids, and $ 40 billion and you might get your solar powered deathray...

new topics

top topics


log in