Space Solar Power (SSP), combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In the long-term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even further distances in space. In the near-term, we can beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today s technology. In recent studies, a 100 kWe-class "Power Plug" Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost have been considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. Our current assessments include consideration of orbits, wavelengths, and structural designs to meet commercial, civilian government, and military needs. Notional transmitter and receiver sizes are considered for use in supplying 5 to 15 MW of power. In the longer term, lunar or asteroidal material can be used. By using SSP and WPT technology for near-term missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from space to Earth.
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
27th Annual International Space Development; May 29, 2008 - Jun 01, 2008; Washington, DC; United States