pfc design notes 004 - Interstellar 3D Lithography
The Algeans died out billions of years ago, having never mastered interstellar colonization. They did, however, develop a system to 3D print robotic probes across interstellar distances, with the assitance of gravitational lensing.
The interstellar lithography system emits a wide X-ray free electron laser aimed near the edge of the target star. By the time the beam arrives, it has actually fanned out perpendicular to its original wideness. The target star acts as a gravitational lens, focusing the beam onto a small spot as desired.
However, the focal length of the Sun's gravitational lens is at least 550AU. The Algea Oort cloud system is indeed in an orbit with aphelion of about 600AU.
The lithography system etches robots out of methane ice, using rotation of the target body to provide third dimension shaping. I'll admit I only have vague ideas for how these robots would initially be powered and how logic circuits would work. Hopefully, there's some way to "cook" methane into forms of carbon suitable for electronic circuitry.
These progenitor robots can then start building more sophisticated robots out of local materials. The Algeans were trying to spread themselves via uploads living in robotic bodies but...
That's all for part 004!
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