The Spaceward Foundation announces the goals for the 2008 Space Elevator Power Beaming Challenge. Building on the results of the 2007 Challenge, the goals for 2008 have been set at 1 km height, 5 m/s minimum speed, for a prize level of $2M. An intermediate prize level of $900k will be given for a speed of 2 m/s. Additionally, teams that can reach an altitude of 1 km at between 1 and 2 m/s will be awarded a prize of up to $50k. In the last two competitions in 2007 and 2006, teams have come close to winning the robotic climbing prize.
2008 Space elevator proposed 1 kilometer high test track graphic if over asteroid crater
The pyramid is as tall as it is wide, and with a 4-Ton lift balloon at its apex can withstand winds above 30 MPH. The cables are 1/2″ diameter Spectra lines, similar in feel to Nylon rope. The central climb tether is between 3/8″ and 1/2″ in diameter, and will be tensioned to approximately 200kg.
Here is what the pyramid would look like over the 2007 test site (the orange circle).
The target date for the competition is early September 2008.
A world leader in disc laser technology, TRUMPF took a natural interest in the power beaming games, and is providing both hardware and expertise to enable the 1-km climb. TRUMPF is contributing a top-of-the-line TruDisk 8002 high power laser for use at the 2008 and 2009 games, as well as on-site operation and engineering support for participating teams.
Dilas supplied the two Laser Diode power sources in the 2007 games, and is offering this year an integrated light source designed specifically for power beaming application to the 1 km range.
2007 entrant in the climbing competition
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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