Relativistic Braking and Power Generation through Stellar Magnetic Fields via Eddy Current Forces

Author: Colin Warn

Description: A method of braking a spacecraft moving at relativistic speeds by means of circulating Eddy Current forces in a metal is proposed. An example calculation using a sail made from the wonder-material graphene, it is hypothesized that an approximately 500 m2, 1g sail can be decelerated completely from 8% the speed of light in 127 seconds through a magnetic field that is roughly as long as the diameter of a star, while generating around 26 W of power. This method, if experimentally shown to be feasible, can be improved by increasing the melting point of the spacecraft materials, as well as the maximum deceleration rating of spacecraft electronics and payloads.