Proposed Satellite Would Beam Solar Power to Earth
An energy-hungry Earth is in need of transformational and sustainable energy solutions. For decades, researchers have been appraising the use of power-beaming solar-power satellites. But the projected cost, complexity and energy economics of the notion seemingly short-circuited the idea. Now, a unique new approach has entered the scene, dubbed SPS-ALPHA, short for Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased Array. If successful, the project would make possible the construction of huge platforms from tens of thousands of small elements that can deliver remotely and affordably tens to thousands of megawatts using wireless power transmission to markets on Earth, as well as missions in space.
According to John Mankins of Artemis Innovation Management Solutions, SPS-ALPHA is a novel “biomimetic” approach to the challenge of space solar power, in that it utilizes human-made processes, substances, devices or systems that imitate nature. The booming field of biomimetics is of interest to researchers in nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, the medical industry and the military.