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Space power by ground-based laser illumination

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1 Author(s)
G. A. Landis ; Sverdrup Technol. Inc., Cleveland, OH, USA

Reducing energy storage requirements of space power systems by illuminating the photovoltaic arrays with a remotely located laser system is addressed. It is proposed that large lasers be located on cloud-free sites at one or more ground locations and that large lenses or mirrors with adaptive optical correction be used to reduce the beam spread due to diffraction or atmospheric turbulence. During the eclipse periods or lunar night, the lasers illuminate the solar arrays to a level sufficient to provide operating power. Two applications are discussed: illumination of geosynchronous orbit satellites and illumination of a moonbase power system. Issues for photovoltaic receivers for such a system are discussed.<>

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 11 )