Here, the massive ramscoop itself is made visible. Because the volume of space necessary to scoop up usable amounts of the interstellar medium is so vast (10e18 m^3), a physical scoop would be impractical. Instead, a scoop made of electrostatic fields gathers up hydrogen atoms ionized by an array of ultraviolet lasers.
RAIRs carry their own fuel, usually Deuterium and Helium-3 (Catalyzed RAIRs will also carry antimatter), but not their own reaction mass. This they gather from the space around them in the form of interstellar Hydrogen. The fusion engine is used to boost the RAIR up to speed, where it then can start gathering Hydrogen. The hydrogen is then accelerated towards a target of Lithium or Boron to initiate a fusion reaction (Boron-proton and Lithium-proton fusion are much easier and more energetic than proton-proton fusion), adding more energy to the mass stream flowing out the back of the reactor. Catalyzed RAIRs inject antimatter into the stream, tremendously increasing the amount of energy inside it for a more efficient reaction. The only drawback is that it requires large quantities of antimatter.