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

"Everything starts as somebody's daydream. And, when you're daydreaming, it is science fiction. It's when you start work out how you put it together, true science fiction becomes real science."
- Larry Niven

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
Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
Astronaut Gets Younger In Space

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

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

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.