. 24/7 Space News .
Turning science fiction into science fact
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 15, 2022

An artistic rendering showing the concept of collecting solar energy in space and beaming converted RF energy to a terrestrial rectenna. Credit: US Air Force Research Laboratory.

In the 1940s, science fiction author Isaac Asimov theorized the concept of collecting the sun's energy in space, then beaming that energy down to Earth. Today, Northrop Grumman's Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project team is making that science fiction a reality with steady progress towards transmitting solar energy from space to anywhere on Earth.

SSPIDR technology can be especially useful in forward operating and contested areas where warfighters need steady power to maintain mission operations. Harnessing solar power for use on Earth has enormous potential for communities where energy is scarce.

For example, when military personnel establish a forward operating base one of the most dangerous parts of the ground operation is getting power. Convoys and supply lines, which are major targets for adversaries, are the usual methods to supply power.

However, solar-powered beaming energy technology can provide constant, consistent and logistically agile power to expeditionary forces operating in hard-to-reach areas - assuring power is transmitted via radio frequency (RF) from space and reducing reliance on fuel convoys and other energy generation methods.

Utilizing one of the company's test chambers specifically designed for RF at its Baltimore manufacturing and test campus, the SSPIDR team successfully demonstrated the transmission of directed RF energy to a ground-based rectifying antenna (rectenna) - a critical milestone in the development of this pioneering technology.

In this demonstration, engineers steered RF energy to rectenna hardware, energizing a series of lights that indicated successful formation of an energy beam and conversion to useful electrical current.

As part of this laboratory demonstration, engineers also showcased the ability to beam RF energy to multiple fixed points by electronically steering and controlling the power beam using Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) capabilities.

"Space solar power beaming has the potential to provide energy anywhere on Earth at any time, making consistent and reliable energy available to remote locations when its needed most," said Tara Theret, SSPIDR program director, Northrop Grumman. "With this demonstration, we are one step closer to taking this technology out of the lab and putting it on orbit."

As ambitious as it is revolutionary, the SSPIDR Project which is under contracted development partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) will utilize on-orbit, highly-efficient photovoltaic cells to collect solar energy.

This solar energy will then be converted into RF energy and beamed to a receiving station on Earth - like a power plant, but for space solar energy - where it would be converted to usable energy.

Having successfully demonstrated the conversion of solar energy to transmittable RF energy and wireless beaming capabilities in a laboratory environment, engineers are continuing to fine-tune the array to strengthen beam steering capabilities.

What has for decades been a science fiction concept will soon be on its way to space-based demonstration with AFRL's anticipated mission launch in 2025.

Related Links
Northrop Grumman
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

How scientist developed an intelligent fuzzy logical control to stabilize solar sail?
Beijing, China (SPX) Nov 02, 2022
Solar sail, a form of longevous spacecraft without propellant demand, attracts numerous aerospace researchers' attention. Its prolongable peculiarity enables its tremendous potential in diverse interplanetary missions. Due to the harsh space environment, it is inevitable that the spacecraft with long time on-orbit suffers the performance degradation and accident. Especially, the force model will be variational and make attitude stabilization of solar sail failed. The remote distance between earth ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Turning science fiction into science fact

Russian ISS spacewalk cancelled due to coolant leak: NASA

Practice makes perfect for student inventions at JPL competition

NASA taps Collins Aerospace to develop new spacesuits for Space Station

Musk says will step down as Twitter CEO once successor found

Northrop Grumman increases hypersonic manufacturing production capacity and affordability

NASA starts RS-25 engine testing for future Artemis missions

China launches two space experiment satellites

Mars' thin and turbulent atmosphere leads to curiously sized dunes

Sols 3682-3683: Perspective

Experiencing a Dust Devil

Sound of a dust devil on Mars recorded for first time

China's space station Tiangong enters new phase of application, development

China's new space station opens for business in an increasingly competitive era of space activity

Nations step up space cooperation

China's Shenzhou-14 astronauts return safely, accomplishing many "firsts"

US space entities examine future space technology

Bluewalker 3 on target to deliver the first and only space-based cellular broadband

Maxar-built Galaxy 35 and Galaxy 36 for Intelsat begin commissioning after launch

Sidus Space selects Exolaunch for LizzieSat Deployment

Fortnite-maker to pay $520 million over US child allegations

Say hello to the toughest material on Earth

Cubic silicon carbide wafers demonstrate high thermal conductivity, second only to diamond

Making the unimaginable possible in materials discovery

ESPRESSO and CARMENES discover two potentially habitable exo-Earths around a star near the Sun

How the 'hell planet' got so hot

Southern hemisphere's biggest radio telescope begins search for ET signatures

An exoplanet atmosphere as never seen before

The PI's Perspective: Extended Mission 2 Begins!

NASA's Europa Clipper gets its wheels for traveling in deep space

Mars and Jupiter moons meet

NASA studies origins of dwarf planet Haumea

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.