[ExI] solar power satellites

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Mon May 19 23:23:23 UTC 2008

Thinking about the recent posts on the subject, how small could you make a decent proof of concept? I mean, the figures given on this list are 10,000 metric tonnes for a 4GW satellite beaming microwaves to a rectenna 1km x 1.4km. Now the ARES V launcher proposed by NASA will lift 130 metric tonnes to LEO. Would it be possible to make a one-hundredth scale satellite and tow it to GEO on an ARES V? Coupled with the development of a mobile, easily erected one-hundredth scale rectenna (100m x 140m for 1% area) you would have a proof of concept that could be used to supply 40MW wherever it was needed. Seeing as the most recent official interest in solar power satellites came from a US department of defense study, it might be possible to get this proving mission paid for by the DoD.
 Does this sound like a worthwhile step in advancing the technology?


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