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David

Darling

Shkadov thruster

Shkadov thruster diagram

A Shkadov thruster is a hypothetical device built by a Type II Kardashev civilization to control a star's motion. It consists of a mirror of rim angle psi placed at some distance r from a star S (see figure). The mirror causes an asymmetry of stellar radiation in the star-mirror system and, consequently, gives rise to a net thrust on the star. For a certain mirror of superficial mass density, a balance exists between the gravitational force and the force due to star radiation pressure and the mirror-star distance remains constant. It can be shown that, for a well-designed system, the thrust could produce a significant deviation of the Solar System's normal trajectory in the Galaxy.1

 


reference

1. Shkadov, L. M. "Possibility of controlling solar system motion in the galaxy," 38th Congress of IAF," October 10-17, 1987, Brighton, UK, paper IAA-87-613.