NYC Heliostats And Star Wars Orbital Mirrors
Three heliostats installed on the roof of a 23 story building in New York City will provide much needed light in the planned Teardrop Park South. The park likes in the shadow of three skyscrapers, and never gets direct sunlight.
(From Heliostats are computer-guided devices that deliver sunlight where needed)
A heliostat is a device that uses a single mirror to track the sun and then deliver a beam of light to a selected location. Each of the three heliostats used in NYC are about eight feet in diameter, and cost $355,000.
In the novelization of Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith, orbital mirrors play an important part in the battle over Coruscant, the capital city of the Republic.
The skies of Coruscant blaze with war.
The artificial daylight spread by the capital's orbital mirrors is sliced by intersecting flames of ion drives and punctuated by starburst explosions...
The beams of the mirrors are redirected to shine on a huge reservoir, vaporizing it and shorting out the planet's defense shield. Ordinarily, the mirrors are used to provide more hours of daylight around the capital city. I'm sure there must be early mentions of orbital mirrors providing light to the surface; perhaps helpful readers can fill us all in with a comment (see below).
Update: 04-Mar-2015: See Theodore Sturgeon's orbital mirror from his 1941 story Completely Automatic. End update.
The Russians made a valiant attempt to use a mirror to reflect sunlight onto various regions in the former Soviet republics in 1999. The Znamya ('Banner') experiment was intended to put a circle of light 5-8 kilometers across, moving at 7 yards per second, on the earth's surface. The mirror was intended to be used as a prototype for larger models to provide light for Russia's northern cities. Unfortunately, the 1999 Znamya experiment failed when the mirror failed to deploy properly in space.
(From Znamya Solar Power Mirror Satellite)
In an opposite view of this story (that is, Earth needs less sunlight, not more) read Reduce Sunlight By Blocking Solar Rays. Read more about the New York City Heliostats, the Znamya program, and the history of heliostats.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/3/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )
Related News Stories -
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...' - Harley S. Aldinger, 1932.
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...' - Niven and Pournelle, 1974.
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...' - Bruce Sterling, 1985.
SpaceX Spacesuit Design Transmitted By Elon Musk
Welcome, SpaceX, to the club of space suit imaginers and makers.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
effie Automated Ironing Appliance
'Household Automata received an urgent task to develop production units of бытовые тканевые разглаживатели - a household fabric smoother.'
BabyX AI Real Enough For You
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man? I'm showing a voice this instant... I can show a face the same way.'
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'
Pegasus, Nvidia Supercomputer For Autonomous Driving
'...a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis.'
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
'You can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit... and the tube will "remember" what was done and can direct the operation...'
Self-Assembling Bacteria Build A Pressure Sensor
Nature is a master of fabricating structured materials consisting of living and non-living components.
3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories