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Swarming Robot Satellites

The Solar Swarm
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The ability to block or redirect sunlight is a necessity for terra forming. The problem is that this requires colossal constructs. Rather than having one huge structure use a swarm of small satellites. One possible design would have 4 wings each about a meter long. Attached to a long thin body and would look a bit like a dragon fly. The wings have 2 different surfaces one is a mirror the other a low cost solar cell. The wings use ball mounts allowing the wings to rotate and pivot independently. They will be built on the Moon and launched in to space. The satellites will be very light using the wings as solar sails to move into and stay on position. Once in position they will form a swarm working together.

Possible missions are forming two swarms orbiting the sun one leading and one trailing Mars Lagrange point. The swarms would reflect more sun light on to mars helping to warm it.

Another mission would be to form a swarm at Venus’s Lagrange point blocking a percentage of sun light reaching Venus causing it to cool.

duroncrush, Feb 05 2004


       //The ability to block or redirect sunlight is a necessity for terra forming.// Wrong, you only need the ability to move planets into the right orbit and dump some water-ice asteroids on them.   

       Alternatively, dumping lots of ice onto Venus could cool it down a lot faster while taking most of the acid out of the atmosphere.
kbecker, Feb 05 2004

       Moving planets would take an astronomical amount of energy (no pun intended). It would be much easier to change the atmosphere content (intentionally create some greenhouse gasses), direct sunglight to heat it up, sprinkly black powerder on ice caps, create small windmills that generate heat from mechanical energy, etc. Dump in chemical cocktails that are 10 times more effective than CO2 at greenhousing, much easier than moving a planet (and potentially disrupting all the paths of other planets.)
excaliber, Feb 05 2004

       Neal Stephenson wrote about a very similar system used for a very different purpose in his sci-fi novel "Diamond Age". He called them "aerostats" and used them in a floating security fence called the "dog pod grid". Worth a read just for all the other neat ideas in the book, too.
submitinkmonkey, Mar 10 2005


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