We investigate technologies and designs that, following a reasonable R and D effort, may be able to deliver small, operational, single launch PowerSats suitable for niche markets. Part I of this series described an SSP design based on low-mass, thin-film solar cells such as those already proven in space combined with infra-red power beaming. Since infra-red wavelengths are approximately 30,000x shorter than microwave and the product of the diameters of the transmitting and receiving systems is a linear function of wavelength, the on-orbit power beam radius can be a few meters, making small PowerSats practical. This paper, Part II, contains a design sketch of a power beaming system using fiber lasers integrated into the power-collection system. Based on this design sketch, we quantify some of the improvements in the state-of-the-art necessary to develop a 120 meter radius PowerSat, launched by a single Falcon 9, that delivers up to 6.2 MW to the grid.
A Spacex Heavy could launch five (in one launch) of the space based power systems proposed for the Falcon 9.
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.