Space-Based Solar Power

a public discussion sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation

Archive for the ‘Technical 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):

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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 »

Wireless Power Broadcast for Computers and Phones Anticipated!

Posted by Coyote on August 23, 2008

Power beaming is a critical for space-based solar power. It also would be nice if our laptops and cell phones didn’t need to be plugged in, becoming truly wireless.

Intel recently brought the concept closer to reality with a live demo illuminating a 60 watt bulb on stage at an annual meeting in San Francisco of the company’s developers. Their goal is simple, free computers and other devices from power cords.

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Posted in Environmental Challenges of Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Space Solar Power news, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 7 Comments »

Weaponization, Environmental Risk, and Multinational Approaches

Posted by Coyote on August 10, 2008

Today I was asked by a politically-minded individual what political hurtles space-based solar power might face when confronted with questions of weaponization, safety, and multinational approaches. My reply is below. Please check my work!

“Your concern about weaponization of the system and environmental risks are proper and deserve solid answers. For the answers (and a whole bunch of other great information) let me point you to a special edition of Ad Astra magazine produced by the National Space Society.
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Posted in 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, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 13 Comments »

Tech Pieces: Darkest Material May Boost Solar Conversion Efficiency

Posted by Coyote on February 22, 2008

Here’s one for our technical experts.

Staff writers for the Tech Space section of Space Mart reported back on 20 Feb 2007 in an online article titled, “Darkest Material Developed In Lab:”

The material, a thin coating comprised of low-density arrays of loosely vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that absorbs more than 99.9 percent of light, could one day be used to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy conversion, infrared sensors and other devices…(bolding by coyote)

Would a couple of our technical friends please explain why this could boost efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy conversion…better yet, apply this to space solar power?

Coyote

Posted in Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 13 Comments »

Space Solar Power Demo: WWWWW & H?

Posted by Coyote on January 12, 2008

It’s time to get busy again!

Our very good friend, Hu Davis, recently circulated some good questions regarding the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of demonstrating space solar power. He poses the questions from the perspectives of two groups; space solar power enthusiasts, and some NASA people who work the International Space Station (ISS). (Please note that like the rest of us, our friends at NASA-ISS are just brainstorming with us to see what help the ISS might be able to lend to advance space solar power concepts–there is no official NASA position or policy on any of this yet.)

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Posted in Space Solar Power news, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Study-Related | 96 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 »

“Why is the DoD interested in this?” Security at all levels!

Posted by Coyote on September 1, 2007

Yesterday at one of my alternate work locations (okay…another one of D.C.’s Irish pubs) a space skeptic asked me to write down all the security reasons that explain why the DoD is interested in space-based solar power. Fair enough. So this is what I wrote on the bar napkin: (I share it with you because that’s what I do!)

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Posted in International Partnerships for Space-Based Solar Power, Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 42 Comments »

Technical Discussion On Power Beaming: Engineers Take Note!

Posted by Coyote on August 10, 2007

Regarding power beaming from satellites at GEO to the Earth’s surface:

“The atmosphere has two bandwidth width windows though which it is possible to beam power between space and the surface efficiently, and outside of which atmospheric absorption will kill you: (1) a microwave window, of which the 2.45 GHz frequency (~ 12 centimeter wavelength) employed in the 1970s DoD/NASA reference SPS design is typical, and (2) a visible window extending perhaps as far into the near infrared as a micron of so in wavelength. …

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Posted in Scientific Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 92 Comments »

“How to Build a Space Solar Power System”

Posted by Coyote on July 22, 2007

My friend Darel Preble sent a comment to a previous posting that included a paper entitled “How to Build a Space Solar Power System.”

I encourage you to read the paper available at the link above. Does it describe a viable way forward?

Posted in Logistical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 66 Comments »

Space Solar Power Meets Wikipedia…

Posted by Coyote on July 8, 2007

The Evil Dr Mankins introduced me to Wikipedia a couple of months ago. Naturally, I felt like an idiot because apparently this has been a huge Internet phenomenon over the last few years that I just missed. What can I say? I’ve been distracted by reality lately.

But I’ve discovered that Wikipedia can be a wealth of information and misinformation…and the innocent might not know the difference.

Please take a look at Wikipedia’s page titled Space Power Satellite.

Is this information or misinformation? Would this serve as a sufficient primer on the subject of space solar power? What edits can we make to improve this page for everyone’s benefit?

Posted in Study-Related, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 10 Comments »

India, Space Solar Power, Reusable Launch Vehicles, and a Partnership Opportunity?

Posted by Coyote on July 2, 2007

In a recent posting on The Statesmen website, author Stanley Theodore briefly describes India’s intent to pursue space-based solar power in an article titled “Solar Energy In Space to Power India.”

The article implies that India has identified the need for cheap, reliable, frequently reusable spacelift as the principle technical challenge that must be overcome.  The article states:

“Mr Saraswath [India's Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) chief controller for research and development] said Reusable Launch Vehicles are needed to make [space-based solar power] cost effective.”

Solving the spacelift problem has been identified almost universally in all studies as the principle impediment to all activities in space—this also seems to be the case regarding space-based solar power—now with some independent confirmation from India.

But what is really interesting in Stanley Theodore’s article is the same expression of concern to pursue space-based solar power to  “meet ever growing energy requriements” while recognizing that “the era of conventional fuels is ending.” 

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Posted in Space Solar Power news, Technical Challenges to Space-Based Solar Power | 10 Comments »

 
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