P1_2 Icarus and the Ice Palace

Riley Connors, Cameron Scoular, Katie Dexter, Joshua Argyle


In the 2002 James Bond spy film Die Another Day, Icarus, an orbital mirror satellite capable of focusing the energy from solar radiation onto a small area on the Earth’s surface, is used to melt an ice palace 1000 tons in mass in < 1 hour. The feasibility of this is investigated, modelling Icarus first as a concave mirror and second as a solar powered light-beam device. It is concluded that for Icarus to complete such a feat, its mirror or solar panel area would need to be > 1.2 x105m2; larger than any satellite in orbit at present but constructing a satellite this size is not physically impossible.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.
We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.