Novel Space-based Solar Power Technologies and Architectures for Earth and Beyond
- O'Neill, Mark J.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Howell, Joe T. and Fikes, John C.
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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
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- Research, development and studies of novel space-based solar power systems, technologies and architectures for Earth and beyond are needed to reduce the cost of clean electrical power for terrestrial use and to provide a stepping stone for providing an abundance of power in space, i.e., manufacturing facilities, tourist facilities, delivery of power between objects in space, and between space and surface sites. The architectures, technologies and systems needed for space to Earth applications may also be used for in-space applications. Advances in key technologies, i.e., power generation, power management and distribution, power beaming and conversion of beamed power are needed to achieve the objectives of both terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications. Power beaming or wireless power transmission (WPT) can involve lasers or microwaves along with the associated power interfaces. Microwave and laser transmission techniques have been studied with several promising approaches to safe and efficient WPT identified. These investigations have included microwave phased array transmitters, as well as laser transmission and associated optics. There is a need to produce "proof-of-concept" validation of critical WPT technologies for both the near-term, as well as far-term applications. Investments may be harvested in near-term beam safe demonstrations of commercial WPT applications. Receiving sites (users) include ground-based stations for terrestrial electrical power, orbital sites to provide power for satellites and other platforms, future space elevator systems, space vehicle propulsion, and space to surface sites. This paper briefly discusses achieving a promising approach to the solar power generation and beamed power conversion. The approach is based on a unique high-power solar concentrator array called Stretched Lens Array (SLA) for both solar power generation and beamed power conversion. Since both versions (solar and laser) of SLA use many identical components (only the photovoltaic cells need to be different), economies of manufacturing and scale may be realized by using SLA on both ends of the laser power beaming system in a space solar power application. Near-term uses of this SLA-laser-SLA system may include terrestrial and space exploration in near Earth space. Later uses may include beamed power for bases or vehicles on Mars.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050245136.
56th International Astronautical Congress Meeting: Power from Space--Prospects for the 21st Century; 17-21 Oct. 2005; Fukoaka; Japan.
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