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In a first, a space solar power system has wirelessly transmitted power in space

Jun. 05, 2023.
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Ultimate goal: "A world powered by uninterruptible renewable energy."

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Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor, Mindplex, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Space Society

Space solar power demonstrator (credit: Caltech)

A Caltech space solar power prototype, launched into orbit in January, is now operational, and Caltech engineers have demonstrated its ability to beam detectable solar power to Earth for the first time.

A Caltech ground station on Earth confirmed the transmission, according to Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering and co-director of the Caltech Space Solar Power Project (SSPP).

“When fully realized, Caltech’s SSPP will deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft which will collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then convert it to microwaves that will be transmitted wirelessly over long distances to wherever it is needed — including locations that currently have no access to reliable power,” he said.

The ultimate goal: “A world powered by uninterruptible renewable energy.”

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