Do you have a nice reference (speculative feasibility study) for non-rigid coil-guns for acceleration?
Obvious idea would be to have a swarm of satellites with a coil, spread out over the solar system. Outgoing probe would pass through a series of such coils, each adding some impulse to the probe (and doing minor course corrections). Obviously needs very finely tuned trajectory.
Advantage over rigid coil-gun: acceleration spread out (unevenly) over longer length (almost entire solar system). This is good for heat dissipation (no coupling is perfect), and maintaining mega-scale rigid objects appears difficult. Satellites can take their time to regain position (solar sail / solar powered ion thruster / gravity assist). Does not help with g-forces.
Disadvantage: Need a large number of satellites in order to get enough launch windows. But if we are talking dyson swarm anyway, this does not matter.
How much do we gain compared to laser acceleration? Main question is probably: How does the required amount of heat dissipation compare?
I have not seen any papers about it, but did look around a bit while writing the paper.
However, a colleague and me analysed laser acceleration and it looks even better. Especially since one can do non-rigid lens systems to enable longer boosting. We developed the idea a fair bit but have not written it up yet.
I would suspect laser is the way to go.
Interesting idea. No, I don’t have any references, sorry!