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Wireless power transmission: the key to solar power satellites

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1 Author(s)
Nansen, R.H. ; Solar Space Ind., USA

Maturing of the enabling technologies has provided much of the infrastructure to support the development of a commercial Solar Power Satellite program. Solar Space Industries was formed to accomplish this goal. The basis of their development plan is to build a Ground Test Installation that will duplicate, in small scale on the Earth, all aspects of the power generating and power transmission systems except for the space environment and the range and size of the energy beam. Space operations issues will be separated from the power generation fixation and verified by testing. Doing the developmental testing on the ground instead of in space will result in a low cost program that can be accomplished in a very short time. The concept is to build a Ground Test Installation that couples an existing 100 kW terrestrial solar cell array to a phased-array wireless power transmitter based on a subarray. Power will be transmitted over a 1-¼ mile range to a receiving antenna and then fed into a commercial utility power grid. The objective is to demonstrate the complete function of the Solar Power Satellites, with the primary issue being the validation of practical wireless power transmission. The key features to demonstrate are: beam control, stability, steering, efficiency, reliability, cost, and safety

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 1996

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