The Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese construction firm, has proposed building tens of thousands of square kilometers of solar cells on the moon.
The Japanese government space agency recently proposed a $2.2 billion project to build a robotically operated moonbase by 2020. Shimizu is a multi-billion corporation with many visionary futuristist project proposals but they have actually been developing airports and bridges around Asia.
Lunar resources will be used to the fullest extent possible in constructing the Solar Belt. Water can be produced by reducing lunar soil with hydrogen that is imported from the Earth. Cementing material can also be extracted from lunar resources. These materials will be mixed with lunar soil and gravel to make concrete. Bricks, glass fibers and other structural materials can also be produced by solar-heat treatments.
The Lunar Solar Belt Configuration
1. Lunar solar cells To ensure continuous generation of power, an array of solar cells will extend like a belt along the entire 11,000km lunar equator. This belt will grow in width from a few kilometers to 400km.
2. Electric power cables The cables will transfer the electric power from the lunar solar cells to the transmission facilities.
3. Microwave power transmission antennas The 20km-diameter antennas will transmit power to the receiving rectennas. A guidance beacon (radio beacon) brought from the Earth will be used to ensure accurate transmission.
4. Laser power transmission facilities High-energy-density laser will be beamed to the receiving facilities. A guidance beacon (radio beacon) brought from the Earth will be used to ensure accurate transmission.
5. Transportation route along the lunar equator
Materials needed for the construction and maintenance of the Solar Belt will be transported along this route. Electric power cables will be installed under the transportation route.
6. Solar cell production plants The plants will move automatically while producing solar cells from lunar resources and installing them.