Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Bureaucracies hide their mistakes, because people's careers are tied to those mistakes. Therefore, bureaucracies are a perfect mechanism for perpetuating mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Soletta  
  An array of solar sail mirrors that focus light onto a planetary surface for power.  

“Well, and now with this soletta pouring sunlight onto the surface!” Jessica exclaimed. She shook her head, as if disapproving. “Natural insolation averaged forty-five percent of Earth’s, and with the soletta it’s supposed to be up to fifty-four.”

“Tell me more about this soletta,” Sax said carefully. They told him in a kind of round. A group of transnationals, led by Subarashii, had built a circular slatted array of solar sail mirrors, placed between the sun and Mars and aligned to focus inward sunlight that would have just missed the planet. An annular support mirror, rotating in a polar orbit, reflected light back to the soletta to counterbalance the pressure of the sunlight, and that light was bounced back onto Mars as well. Both these mirror systems were truly huge compared to the early freighter sails Sax had enlisted to reflect light onto the surface, and the reflected light they were adding to the system was really significant.

“It must have cost a fortune to build them,” Sax murmured.

“Oh, it did. The big transnats are investing like you can’t believe.”

“And they’re not done yet,” Berkina said. “They’re planning to fly an aerial lens just a few hundred kilometers above the surface, and this lens will focus some of the incoming light from the soletta, until it heats the surface up to fantastic temperatures, like five thousand degrees—”

“Five thousand!”

“Yes, I think that’s what I heard. They plan to melt the sand and the regolith underneath, which will release all the volatiles into the atmosphere.”

“But what about the surface?”

“They plan to do it in remote areas.”

“In lines,” Claire said. “So that they end up with ditches?”

“Canals,” Sax said. “Yes, that’s right.” They laughed. “Glass-sided canals,” Sax said, troubled by the thought of all those volatiles. Carbon dioxide would be prominent among them, perhaps chief among them.

From Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Published by Bantam in 1995
Additional resources -

The term derives from work by Dr. Krafft A. Ehricke in 1978, if not earlier; see The Extraterrestrial Imperative for more details.

Compare to the spot light of heat from Niven/Pournelle/Flynn's Fallen Angels (1991) and Clifford Simak's solar energy beam from Masquerade (1941).

Thanks to Maksim-Smelchak for submitting this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Green Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Kim Stanley Robinson
  Tech news articles related to Green Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Kim Stanley Robinson

Articles related to Space Tech
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.