Finally, a Practical use for Space-Based Power Beaming. Sending Power to Satellites in Shade

Power beaming is one of those technologies that can completely change the world.  Almost unlimited power wherever it is needed, whenever it’s needed, is literally a technology straight out of science fiction.  Researchers have been working on the technology for decades at this point, but there has been little commercial headway so far, so what is holding this revolutionary technology up?  A “killer app” would certainly help move it along – and that is what a team from Space Power, a private company, and the University of Surrey think they have found in the form of powering other microsatellites.

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The Navy is Testing Beaming Solar Power in Space

Image if the PRAM satellite prototypes that was recently launched into space

Solar power has become a focal point of the battle to mitigate climate change.  The potential of solar power is massive – Earth receives as much solar energy in an hour as all of humanity uses in a year.  Even with that much energy hitting the Earth, it is only a tiny fraction of the sun’s overall output.  Some of that other solar energy hits other planets, but most is just lost to the void of deep space.

There are a number of groups that are leveraging various technologies to capture some of that lost energy.  One of the most common technologies being pursued is the idea of the power satellite.  Recently, one of those groups at America’s Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) hit a milestone in the development of power satellite technology by launching their Photovoltaic RF Antenna Module (PRAM) test satellite.

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