Researchers from the United States are planning to deploy technology to move solar energy from space to Earth. Therefore, they will not rely on the device's size, as well as the climate.
According to FREE NEWS, the Us Air Force Research Laboratory is currently developing a project called Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research or SSPIDR. It is designed to collect solar energy in space and have it sent for use and application on Earth.
AFRL will develop satellites that are equipped with ground-breaking sandwich panels that will transform solar energy into RF or radiofrequency energy and emit it to Earth. Then, down there, the receiving antennas are the ones to convert RF energy into usable energy.
Referring to their finding, the scientists noted that for this purpose, an innovative solar battery is appropriate as well, although then, they will be limited by its site, the required collectors' size, and the climate and atmosphere on Earth.
However, explained the study authors, "if the solar panels were in orbit," they could have unrestricted access to the rays of the sun, guaranteeing an uninterrupted energy supply.
The SSPIDR Project
The SSPIDR project, as described in the Kirtland Air Force Base website, comprises experiments as well, also known as SPINDLE and SPIRRAL, which will exhibit the orbital development of a scaled-down edition of a power-beaming satellite.
It will also test ways to keep the temperatures of satellites, respectively, in a manageable range. SPINDLE is slated for launch in 2023 on the Materials International Space Station Experiment Flight Facility of Alpha Space, which is developed to be deployed beyond the ISS or International Space Station.
In addition, there is already some space solar power study currently going on. Relatively, the PRAM-FX or the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment formally launched abroad the robotic X-37B space plane of the US Space Force in May 2020.
The PRAM-FX is said to be not beaming power down to this planet, although it is helping researchers measure the efficacy of the sunlight-to-RF conversion of sandwich tiles. More so, the early returns are described to be promising, as shown in a recent study.
Robotic X-37B Space Plane
Space.com described the robotic X-37B space plane as the US Air Force's uncrewed space plane, which has flown four clandestine missions so far, carrying secret payloads on long-duration flights in orbit of Earth.
This robotic plane resembles the famous space shuttle of NASA, although it is much smaller. Furthermore, the X-37B is approximately 29 feet long and 9.5 feet tall, which has a wingspan just below 15 feet. At takeoff, it weighs 11,000 pounds.
Furthermore, the payload bay of X-37B, or the area in which the cargo is packed, measures seven feet long by four feet wide, approximately the size of a pickup truck bed.
Just what this space vehicle is carrying in there is nuclear, nonetheless. Air force officials, in general, comment just on the overall objectives of the programs, emphasizing that every payload is classified.
According to a Z-37B fact sheet which the Air Force produced, the main objectives of the vehicle are twofold: first is to develop reusable spacecraft technology for the US's future in space, and second, operating experiments which can be returned too and studied on Earth.
A related report is shown on Boeing's youtube video below:
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