Newsletters
Technology, Discovery & Innovation NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Computing Digital Life Discovery Space More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Innovation
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Pentagon Promotes Space-Based Solar Power Effort
Pentagon Promotes Space-Based Solar Power Effort

By Mark Long
October 15, 2007 8:28AM

Bookmark and Share
Huge solar arrays placed into a continuously and intensely sunlit orbit around the earth would be able to generate gigawatts of electrical energy that could be electromagnetically beamed back to earth. The receiving stations down on the ground would be designed to deliver the power to the existing electrical grid.
 


A new report from the Pentagon's National Security Space Office (NSSO) postulates that space-based solar-power platforms could begin fulfilling planetary demand for electricity by 2050. The report noted that while significant challenges remain, the technologies for making extraterrestrial relay stations a reality "are more executable than ever before and current technological vectors promise to further improve its viability."

The study's authors are advising the U.S. government to inaugurate a coordinated national program for fostering the technology's development, with the first step consisting of a proof-of-concept demonstration in outer space.

The best way to convince the public that the concept is viable is to show people that the technology actually works, said NSSO spokesperson Lt. Colonel Paul Damphousse. "It's not a stretch to prepare equipment to put on the space station to demonstrate beaming" and to test other vital components, Damphousse noted.

A Flying Hoover Dam

The new NSSO study, which includes input from more than 170 experts worldwide, might seem like science fiction to some, but so did the article "Extra-Terrestrial Relays" published by mathematician and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke in 1945. Today the world derives incalculable benefits from Clarke's pioneering vision of how communication platforms in geostationary orbit over the earth's equator could relay TV and radio programs to virtually every inhabitable place on the planet.

The space station would give scientists the ability to test a wide variety of devices and component technologies far more rapidly than you could anywhere else in space right now, said the president of the Space Power Association and report contributor John Mankins.

"We could use it to validate key concepts of operations: automated assembly, repair, maintenance," Mankins explained. "And it could be a staging point for larger-scale demonstrations" which are "achievable within a decade, not 50 years away."

The first large-scale system could plausibly be on the scale of the Hoover Dam, which would represent enough power to light a city, Mankins noted. But the power could also "be directed to more than one ground location where the markets are. It will be a matter of identifying the new opportunities, project by project."

Extraterrestrial Power Relays

According to the NSSO's Space-Based Study Group, a single kilometer-wide band of geosynchronous earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in one year to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today.

Huge solar arrays placed into a continuously and intensely sunlit orbit around the earth would be able to generate gigawatts of electrical energy that could be electromagnetically beamed back to earth. The receiving stations down on the ground would be designed to deliver the power to the existing electrical grid, convert it into synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, or even broadcast it directly to consumers.

"In the coming century we will need to find as much energy as the world uses today in green form, not just once, but two, three, or more times over," Mankins noted. "And in technological competitiveness, we need to do ambitious things as a nation to renew our technological strength in all areas."

A U.S. funded demonstration would engage the interest of foreign governments concerned about future energy demands, the report's authors noted. Moreover, full deployment of the technology in space would help nations to avoid future military conflicts over increasingly scarce energy resources, they said.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Innovation
1.   Google Sharpens Contact Lens Vision
2.   Poll: A Mix of Feelings on Future Tech
3.   Google Grabs Droid-Maker
4.   Report: Amazon Phone To Feature 3D
5.   Ups and Downs with Google Glass


advertisement
A $200 'Micro' 3D Printer Earns Big
Kickstarter-funded, it could help biz.
Average Rating:
Is Zuckerberg Nuts To Buy Oculus VR?
$2 billion deal for unproven company.
Average Rating:
Poll: A Mix of Feelings on Future Tech
Pew finds a third are pessimistic.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 

Navigation
Sci-Tech Today
Home/Top News | Computing | Digital Life | Discovery | Space | Innovation | Health | Science News
Environment
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.