[LMB] Soletta Physics Demystified

markus baur baur at chello.at
Thu Nov 5 22:05:46 GMT 2020

Am 05.11.2020 um 22:47 schrieb Luke Bretscher:
> On Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 12:38 AM markus baur via Lois-Bujold
> <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
>> 1. drag - not only slowing the soletta, but also putting aerodynamic
>> forces on something very large and flimsy
>> 2. in any komarr orbit the soletta has to rotate in order to keep the
>> proper orientation towards sun and komarr - in low orbit this rotation
>> needs to be fast (at least once per orbit) and becomes a major stress
>> factor on the soletta via centrifugal forces
>> 3. in low orbit the soletty will spend almost half the time in Komarr
>> shadow - reducing its cost efficiency  by that factor
> I don't have a particularly strong opinion on where the soletta
> orbits, but to these reasonable points I should say:
> 1. An orbit might be considered "relatively" low, even if it were not
> low enough to encounter atmospheric effects. For Earth, an orbit above
> the atmosphere is still rather below a geostationary orbit.

> 2. We must imagine that, at this point in the future, materials
> science has advanced quite a bit. Rotating a large structure every few
> hours would probably be achievable.

someone in the book is complaining about soletta cost .. the cost of a 
large structure usually scales with mass - from this follows that a 
soletta is built as light as possinle. an object that is very huge and 
has a very light mas in relation to size wil notice the tenuous 
planetary atmosphere a few planetary diameters out

> 3. That could be avoided by constant orbital adjustment to keep the
> soletta's orbital plane orthogonal to the Sun-Komarr axis.

the design driver is to keep cost and mass low ... better materials will 
therefore most likley not imprive structural strength (much)..

> Yet I think there is an option more likely than either a low or a high
> polar orbit. It seems to me the ideal place for the soletta would be
> in an L1 or L2 halo orbit. Consider the advantages:

that is what i said earlier .. 8)

especially L2



> * Always in sunlight.
> * Far outside the atmosphere.
> * Realignment is structurally nonstressful, as halo orbits have long periods.
> One difficulty: a soletta in L1 orbit might not look like the soletta
> described in the book, since it would have to deflect light at a very
> shallow angle; while a soletta in L2 orbit would always be up at
> night, which could get annoying.
> Luke

markus baur                     SCA: markus von brixlegg
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