SOLARIS: Preparing for space-based solar power


To prepare Europe for future decision making on Space-Based Solar Power, ESA has proposed a preparatory programme for Europe, initially named SOLARIS, for the upcoming ESA Council at Ministerial Level in November 2022.

Space-based solar power is a potential source of clean, affordable, continuous, abundant and secure energy. This basic concept has been given fresh urgency by the need for new sources of clean and secure energy to aid Europe’s transition to a Net Zero carbon world by 2050. If Europe wants to benefit from this game-changing capability then we need to start investing now.

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  1. I am a beam forming engineer at the Satellite Applications Catapult. I have been working on optimising the beam for large microwave power beaming phased arrays, specifically for a design called CASSIOpeia.

    Efficiency is crucial factor for this system to work. Specifically the beam collection efficiency which measures what fraction of the total power transmitted, lands on the ground rectenna.

    I have developed a mathematical model that, for any given 3D phased array, analytically finds the optimum phase and amplitude of each element which maximises the BCE over a desired rectenna collection region. This method is efficient, and bypasses the need for a supercomputer optimisation over millions of variables. Although I developed this method for CASSIOPEIA, it will work for any given structure, including ESA’s Solaris.

    The benefits of space based solar power are immense and stakeholders are slowly waking up to this. There are still a lot of engineering/economic/political challenges involved. But I genuinely believe space based solar power is the most promising near term energy source that could provide safe, clean, reliable, predictable, inexhaustible power.

  2. Even if this would work, i see
    – too much dependency on unreachable items (repair ect)
    – more and more building in space
    – countries battle …
    – incoming war …
    – ez to destroy (ez target) (cannot defend or repair)
    – not enough power gen on ground

  3. Also die Rechnung möchte ich sehen wie ihr es hinbekommt das Ökonomisch, Ökolögisch und Effizienz besser sind als jedes System auf der Erde. Dann noch die Zusätzliche Energie/Strahlung die auf die Erde kommt welche Auswirkungen die hat in der Atmosphäre.
    Eine militärische Stromversorgung macht noch Sinn oder als Katastrophenhilfe aber das ist dann alles andere als Öko….

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