1305. The Satellite Power System Concept and Program


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G M Hanley: 1305. The Satellite Power System Concept and Program. 1979.



The satellite power system is a bold concept that removes energy conversion from the ground and places it into geosynchronous orbit. Power is transmitted from orbit to the ground by microwave. The program objective is to put a number of large satellites (more than 50) into operation by the year 2025, each satellite providing 5 gig watts of power. Two satellites would provide more power than that required by a large metropolitan area such as Los Angeles or Chicago.
This paper summarizes the approaches that have been considered for the satellite power system (SPS) and the current ‘reference concepts’ defined by NASA and the Department of Energy. The overall system’s characteristics are described. The approach to satellite construction and transportation system characteristics is also described.
Operational satellite construction cannot begin until the year 2000 because of the need to develop and verify key technologies and demonstrate on a large scale the end-to-end operation on the system, including its integration into the ground power network. The key elements of this development program are described.


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