A Strategic Roadmap for Commercializing Low-Cost Beamed Energy Propulsion Launch Systems Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved. Beamed energy propulsion (BEP) using lasers or microwave generators to propel spacecraft promises to drastically improve the economics of space operations by sharply reducing the cost of reaching orbit. The Workshop to Commercialize Directed Energy Systems for Low-Cost Space Launches concluded no fundamental technological obstacles to commercial operations by the mid-to late 2020s. Three emerging market drivers are transforming the demand for BEPs low-cost, small-payload, high-throughput model. Most prominent are launching cubesats, a market that did not exist until 2003, and supplying spools of filaments and other materials for additive manufacturing (3D printing) in space. BEP can also provide orbital debris mitigation, a growing threat to space operations, and inter-orbit propulsion.

name of conference

  • AIAA SPACE 2016

published proceedings

  • AIAA SPACE 2016

author list (cited authors)

  • Coopersmith, J. C., & Davis, E.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Coopersmith, Jonathan C||Davis, Eric

publication date

  • January 2016