Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Space Based Power in a Decade?

This sound familiar? Power from orbiting space platforms, available in just a few years! Of course I remember reading about this type of tech in the 70s. Large solar arrays the size of football fields would convert the power generated to micro-wave beams that would be focused on ground stations on Earth where it would be converted back to direct or alternating current for distribution.

So what makes this program any different. This one calls for "giant solar arrays in orbit around the Earth" Oh wait, this one calls for the newest buzz word lasers, even though micro-waves uses less power. But wait! Now the arrays are upwards of 7 miles long, positions along the equator and they are back to considering micro-waves. All within a decade!

Realistically they are still saying that a more reasonable time frame is at least 30 years after covering up-front expense and a handy fleet of private launch vehicles that would be used to put them in place.

For my money it's all pie in the sky until the supply of coal, natural gas and a host of other cheaper products are available.

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