Space-Based Solar Power

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Archive for the ‘Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power’ Category

Discovery Channel to Show Documentary on Space-Based Solar Power!

Posted by Coyote on September 3, 2008

I told Mike “Green Hornet” Hornitschek that we’d be famous!

The Discovery Channel (which my kids LOVE and we LOVE them watching it!) will show a documentary on Space-Based Solar Power at 10pm on 12 September, 2008. We filmed it in Washington DC at the Space Frontier Foundation’s New$pace 2008 conference (you are a member, aren’t you?). It was so totally cool working with the pros from the Futures Channel who did the filming (they must work closely with the Discovery Channel). It was amazing watching them do their thing.  They turned a small conference room at the hotel into a studio, wired us up, created mood lighting, and all that Hollywood stuff. These guys were entirely professional and WOW, it was entirely motivational being around professional media people who want to tell a story so kids get excited!

So, here is the preview from our most excellent friends at the Futures Channel:

Space-Based Solar Power on the Futures Channel

Make sure you tune-in to the Discovery Channel when it airs. Record it, and share it with all your friends, consistent with the laws in your viewing area*!

Cheers!

Coyote

* We’ve got to be careful with copyright laws…I once got into a kerfuffel because I described a baseball game to a friend of mine without the expressed written permission of the commissioner of major league baseball!

Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news, Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 3 Comments »

Obtaining Orbital Parking Slots and Frequencies

Posted by Coyote on August 31, 2008

I was asked two interesting questions yesterday by people interested in commercial development of space-based solar power (SBSP):

  1. How would a company obtain a geostationary parking slot for a SBSP satellite?
  2. How would a company obtain a license to broadcast power from space over radio frequencies?

Excellent questions. Here are the answers that I slapped together from the Internet. (Special thanks to Maldivian Digital, and Wikipedia for having some well researched info posted on their sites!) Please check my work and let me know if I’ve embarrassed myself in public (again):

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Legal Challenges for Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 6 Comments »

ITAR (which I hate with a passion) Slammed by the Economist

Posted by Coyote on August 22, 2008

In my humble opinion, the greatest impediment standing in the way of greater business opportunity and international partnerships for the American space industry are our export laws contained in the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which I hate with a passion!

It is important for us to understand how ITAR (WIHWAP) can affect our space industry, because space-based solar power is such a huge undertaking that international partnerships will be required not only for construction, but also for ownership and development of an international customer base.

The Economist published an article yesterday criticizing ITAR (WIHWAP). The AIAA Daily Launch (an email news service for members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics–you are a member, aren’t you?) described the article this way:

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Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Legal Challenges for Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news | 2 Comments »

Space-Based Solar Power: Part of a Balanced Energy Diet!

Posted by Coyote on July 29, 2008

Our good friend Geoffrey Styles of the GSW Strategy Group, LLC, gave a most thought provoking presentation at the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2008 Conference In Crystal City, Virgina, on 19 July 2008. It was a great conference! They even provided us with a brief synopsis of our space solar power panel.

Included here are the slides he used to describe a new way of thinking of national energy consumption. \”SSP In a Changing Energy Diet\” Instead of discussing the energy “mix” of sources, he rightly points out that like calories in a person’s diet, not all calories are equal.

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Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Legal Challenges for Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news | 2 Comments »

Space-Based Solar Power Interim Assessment (Release 0.1) is Published!

Posted by Coyote on October 10, 2007

Hello Everyone!

Click here for the “Interim Assessment!”

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Posted in Business Case to Space-Based Solar Power, Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Legal Challenges for Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news, Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 74 Comments »

The Goal for 2050 and the Build Forward

Posted by Coyote on August 7, 2007

Enthusiasts and Skeptics,

To give you a basis for analysis, by 2050 the goal is to have forty or so concentrator-photovoltaic space-based solar power (SBSP) satellites in geostationary orbit, each broadcasting via microwave between 2-5 gigawatts of power to terrestrial electrical power grids, with 1-to-5 broadcast antennas that can beam power to as many locations.

This must be done using a sound business case. John Mankins calculates that this can be achieved by keeping the costs of delivery and assembly on orbit below $3,500 per kilogram–keeping the cost to customers below $0.10 per kilowatt/hour. This will drive robotic assembly and tug systems to pull these enormous structures from low orbits to geostationary. On orbit fueling stations will be required. Paul Werbos believes the best way to do this is to get launch costs down below $200 per kilogram.  But several other factors help make the business case. For example, if the price of other energy sources goes up it helps to close the business case for SBSP. Other factors include the efficiencies associated with solar collectors, energy conversion, antennas/rectennas, signal path loss, etc. Dennis Wingo and others have suggested that the first customers for space-based solar power will be international–in areas such as India and Japan where the price per kilowatt/hour is astronomical compared to the Americas or Europe. All of this goes into making the business case.

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Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 52 Comments »

Space Solar Power: Much More Than Clean Energy

Posted by Coyote on July 16, 2007

In a recent posting to washingtonpost.com, author Steven Mufson pessimistically asserts in “Climate Change Debate Hinges on Economics:”

“Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage.”

I tend to agree with Mufson.

We must not kid ourselves; nothing is a more farther-reaching climate proposal than space-based solar power. If pursued for that reason alone–especially as a big government program–I believe nothing would come of it. Not to despair. There are many more reasons to develop space-based solar power, and another way of going about it.

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Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, Political Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Study-Related | 17 Comments »

Making the Business Case for Space Solar Power

Posted by Coyote on July 8, 2007

People tend to use the cheapest forms of energy. Companies tend to promote whatever has the highest profit margin. Today’s petroleum infrastructure is massive, expensive, well-integrated across the international community and still highly profitable.

So…how do we make the business case for space-based solar power?

We need to keep in mind the sage advice of Machiavelli:

One should keep in mind that there is nothing more difficult to execute, nor more dubious of success than to introduce a new system of things; for he who introduces it has all those who profit fro the old system as his enemies, and he has only lukewarm allies in all those who might profit the new system.

Posted in Commercial Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 22 Comments »

 
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