Posted by Coyote on August 1, 2007
Taking the long view, we don’t need to rush to answer every question immediately.
There are some wide open trade spaces that need to be examined and experimented with much more closely. Here are some examples:
Energy collection: What method is best; photovoltaic or solar dynamic collection? Within each method, there are various designs, for example, using the photovoltaic method, which technique of collection is best; large flat arrays or sun towers with concentrator mirrors?
Power beaming: What method should be used to broadcast to the ground; microwave or laser? Each has pros and cons. Microwave is certainly safer, but lasers require a relatively small receiver by comparison. Microwave might be best for permanently supplying a city with power, but laser might be better for broadcasting to a location that needs a rapid set-up time…such as part of a disaster relief effort.
What are the other major trade spaces???