Quan's research looks at the efficacy of a hypothetical laser operating near the infrared spectrum. It would blast away targeted space debris for a couple minutes, at a rate of twenty bursts of laserfire a second. That amount of energy would be sufficient to vaporize part of the object's mass. Contrary to public imagination, space laser brooms like the one proposed don't actually vaporize space debris, but rather "burn off" a chunk. This would create sufficient kinetic force from the chemical combustion to change the object's orbit. With that change in direction, the debris will quickly reenter the atmosphere and burn up. Because of atmospheric distortion, it's much more effective to zap space debris with a satellite than, say, a ground-based laser.