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Beamed microwave power transmission and its application to space

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2 Author(s)
Brown, William C. ; Raytheon Co., Waltham, MA, USA ; Eves, E.E.

The general principles and special components of beamed microwave power transmission systems are outlined, and their application to the space program is discussed. For a beamed system starting with a DC source of power, converting it to a microwave beam for transmission through space, and ending with DC power output at the receiving end, an experimentally measured and certified DC-to-DC efficiency of 54% has been achieved. The application that is discussed in detail is a low-earth-orbit-to-geostationary-orbit (LEO to GEO) transportation system that depends on vehicles propelled by electric thrusters whose power is supplied by a microwave beam originating at the earth's surface. A scenario for such a system is chosen, and the performance results are presented. The advantages of the all electronic system over a chemically propelled system are enumerated. The principles of space propulsion, particularly as they relate to electric propulsion, are outlined. Key components at the terminals of the system are discussed. Environmental considerations are discussed

Published in:

Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1992

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