Electric Space: Space based solar power technologies and applications

Electric Space: Space based solar power technologies and applications By Ali Baghchehsara, Danny Royce Jones

Innovation has delivered humanity from the caves to the ability to access the edge of space and to send robotic explorers deep into the solar system. It is the driving force in mankind’s expansion, growth and technological development. Beamed energy technology could potentially lower the cost of access to space and transportation though space, thereby lowering the cost of transporting goods and people to many destinations in the solar system and beyond. Technology spin-off from space technology investments will benefit all of humanity. Spin-offs could have a huge positive impact in the areas of electronics and instrumentation, automotive, energy (especially clean energy) and lower cost space transportation. In order for humanity to move into space to settle this new frontier innovation in beamed energy technologies will be required. In this book we will look at the topic of space energy and the technologies that can be used to generate this energy. While some of the ideas in this book go back to the original concepts many of the ideas and concepts are new. It is hoped that others will apply these ideas into even new and better approaches so that we can move into space in a really big way, but also do this in ways that are cost effective and even profitable. Access to energy in space is the key to developing its resources and those resources are required to support large scale space settlement. We don’t need to wait decades to develop the technologies for space energy because these technologies already exist. We are just not using them. These technologies can provide us with the means to travel rapidly and cheaply though space. They can also be used to power our industry and homes on Earth. We have only to utilize the technology. The development of space will depend on the availability of energy and lots of it. Once we have mastered that, all things become possible. We will be able to transport people and cargo to many destinations in our solar system, power the earth with clean and abundant energy, and tap the resources of asteroids and comets. Once we have settled the near Earth areas of the solar system, such as, the Moon, Mars and Venus we can strike out to other star systems. As the World’s need for energy continues to grow driven by population growth and increased industrialization, new options for energy will be needed. This is especially true given that reserves of conventional energy sources such as oil, gas and uranium are rapidly being depleted and that greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere are causing large scale damage to the Earth. We find that alternatives energy sources such as wind, ground solar and biomass have physical site limitations and while they are certainly desirable from an ecological prospective, are often high cost and cannot meet the Earth’s future energy needs even if fully developed. The solar energy collected by an SPS would be converted into electricity, then into microwaves. The microwaves would be beamed to the Earth’s surface, where they would be received and converted back into electricity by a large array of devices known as a rectifying antenna, or rectenna. Rectification is the process by which alternating electrical current, such as that 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.