Background: It is the year 2021 and I am a reclusive and enigmatic billionaire with a flair for the dramatic. I would like a dramatic spotlight to shine down on me on command (at night), so that I can look something like this diagram (without an obnoxious helicopter, plane, or blimp above me):
Specific requirements for the system:
- Must shine down on me from above. Beam can be slightly angled, but the closer to 90° the better.
- Radius of the projected spot can be big, but shouldn't exceed 5 meter radius (smaller is better)
- Color of the light should be white, and the ability to change it would be a bonus
- The system should work anywhere on Earth, but I am willing to time my dramatic appearances for a satellite to be passing overhead. Launching multiple satellites is also an option.
My solution so far: I think I'd be able to accomplish this by launching a satellite (or a fleet of identical satellites for better coverage) that is equipped with a powerful laser, powerplant/battery, and targeting system. When not in use, the satellite charges its batteries and then when I want to make a dramatic appearance, I feed it my coordinates or use a laser designator to designate my position. Then, the light shines down on me, I impress people, and the laser shuts off again so the satellite can recharge.
- Feasibility. I'm unsure how difficult it would be to maintain beam coherence over such a distance and through the atmosphere. Additionally, I'm unsure how powerful exactly the laser system would need to be and if a satellite can support such a load
- Price. Approximately how much would a system like this cost in today's US dollars including launch costs. Is \$100 million enough?