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A lightweight space-based solar power generation and transmission satellite

A lightweight space-based solar power generation and transmission satellite
A lightweight space-based solar power generation and transmission satellite
We propose a novel design for a lightweight, high-performance space-based solar power array combined with power beaming capability for operation in geosynchronous orbit and transmission of power to Earth. We use a modular configuration of small, repeatable unit cells, called tiles, that each individually perform power collection, conversion, and transmission. Sunlight is collected via lightweight parabolic concentrators and converted to DC electric power with high efficiency III-V photovoltaics. Several CMOS integrated circuits within each tile generates and controls the phase of multiple independently-controlled microwave sources using the DC power. These sources are coupled to multiple radiating antennas which act as elements of a large phased array to beam the RF power to Earth. The power is sent to Earth at a frequency chosen in the range of 1-10 GHz and collected with ground-based rectennas at a local intensity no larger than ambient sunlight. We achieve significantly reduced mass compared to previous designs by taking advantage of solar concentration, current CMOS integrated circuit technology, and ultralight structural elements. Of note, the resulting satellite has no movable parts once it is fully deployed and all beam steering is done electronically. Our design is safe, scalable, and able to be deployed and tested with progressively larger configurations starting with a single unit cell that could fit on a cube satellite. The design reported on here has an areal mass density of 160 g/m2 and an end-to-end efficiency of 7-14%. We believe this is a significant step forward to the realization of space-based solar power, a concept once of science fiction.
astro-ph.IM
Abiri, Behrooz
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Arya, Manan
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Bohn, Florian
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Fikes, Austin
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Gal-Katziri, Matan
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Gdoutos, Eleftherios
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Goel, Ashish
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Gonzalez, Pilar Espinet
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Kelzenberg, Michael
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Lee, Nicolas
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Marshall, Michael A.
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Roy, Tatiana
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Royer, Fabien
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Warmann, Emily C.
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Vaidya, Nina
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Vinogradova, Tatiana
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Madonna, Richard
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Atwater, Harry
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Hajimiri, Ali
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Pellegrino, Sergio
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Abiri, Behrooz
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Arya, Manan
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Bohn, Florian
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Fikes, Austin
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Gal-Katziri, Matan
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Gdoutos, Eleftherios
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Goel, Ashish
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Gonzalez, Pilar Espinet
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Kelzenberg, Michael
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Lee, Nicolas
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Marshall, Michael A.
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Roy, Tatiana
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Royer, Fabien
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Warmann, Emily C.
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Vaidya, Nina
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Vinogradova, Tatiana
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Madonna, Richard
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Atwater, Harry
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Hajimiri, Ali
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Pellegrino, Sergio
39fed961-a2a9-434d-9f61-77485e85db76

[Unknown type: UNSPECIFIED]

Record type: UNSPECIFIED

Abstract

We propose a novel design for a lightweight, high-performance space-based solar power array combined with power beaming capability for operation in geosynchronous orbit and transmission of power to Earth. We use a modular configuration of small, repeatable unit cells, called tiles, that each individually perform power collection, conversion, and transmission. Sunlight is collected via lightweight parabolic concentrators and converted to DC electric power with high efficiency III-V photovoltaics. Several CMOS integrated circuits within each tile generates and controls the phase of multiple independently-controlled microwave sources using the DC power. These sources are coupled to multiple radiating antennas which act as elements of a large phased array to beam the RF power to Earth. The power is sent to Earth at a frequency chosen in the range of 1-10 GHz and collected with ground-based rectennas at a local intensity no larger than ambient sunlight. We achieve significantly reduced mass compared to previous designs by taking advantage of solar concentration, current CMOS integrated circuit technology, and ultralight structural elements. Of note, the resulting satellite has no movable parts once it is fully deployed and all beam steering is done electronically. Our design is safe, scalable, and able to be deployed and tested with progressively larger configurations starting with a single unit cell that could fit on a cube satellite. The design reported on here has an areal mass density of 160 g/m2 and an end-to-end efficiency of 7-14%. We believe this is a significant step forward to the realization of space-based solar power, a concept once of science fiction.

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2206.08373v2 - Author's Original
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Published date: 16 June 2022
Keywords: astro-ph.IM

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 471530
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/471530
PURE UUID: 73e0b864-c22b-4d81-b3f6-7d4edb68fad3
ORCID for Nina Vaidya: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1843-7545

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Nov 2022 17:33
Last modified: 11 Nov 2022 03:00

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Contributors

Author: Behrooz Abiri
Author: Manan Arya
Author: Florian Bohn
Author: Austin Fikes
Author: Matan Gal-Katziri
Author: Eleftherios Gdoutos
Author: Ashish Goel
Author: Pilar Espinet Gonzalez
Author: Michael Kelzenberg
Author: Nicolas Lee
Author: Michael A. Marshall
Author: Tatiana Roy
Author: Fabien Royer
Author: Emily C. Warmann
Author: Nina Vaidya ORCID iD
Author: Tatiana Vinogradova
Author: Richard Madonna
Author: Harry Atwater
Author: Ali Hajimiri
Author: Sergio Pellegrino

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