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Orbiting Solar Panels Beam Energy From Space

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naperlou
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how much energy
naperlou   3/26/2014 11:42:24 AM
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Elizabeth, one thing you don't mention is how much energy the proposed array will produce.  What is the efficiency of the whole system?

On another note, why use robots to assemble this.  Why not the International Space Station (ISS)?  It has a robotic arm and people to do the work.  This would have lots of benefits.  First, there is cost.  The whole robotic assembly is not a part of the technology of power generation.  It is a whole other program requiring diffent skills and really raises the cost and complexity of the system.  I expect that a demonstrator would be built (a single satellite) and then a larger array, then the full envisioned array.  That's a lot of steps.  Getting rid of the robotics in the early stages would speed things along.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Sci Fi to Reality
Elizabeth M   3/26/2014 10:45:58 AM
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Ha, yes, TJ, it does seem the stuff of scifi and I am sure there will be naysayers that claim it's dangerous and it shouldn't be done. I personally think it's a great idea and, given the fact that we use solar energy naturally anyway, it would be hard to argue that this is dangerous for humans. But I guess you're right in that the transition from solar energy to radio waves that will be "beamed" down will spur panic among some!

TJ McDermott
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Sci Fi to Reality
TJ McDermott   3/26/2014 10:07:39 AM
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I love when the science fiction I read in my teens (Aurthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Allen Steele to name a few) becomes reality in my lifetime.

I hope this concept is strong enough to overcome the

DEATH BEAMS FROM SPACE!!!

headlines that will inevitably follow.  High tension lines have always been a favored target for health scares.

Elizabeth M
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Complicated yet simple
Elizabeth M   3/26/2014 6:10:09 AM
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This idea, to me, seems both very complicated and simple at the same time. Satellites already use solar energy, and where better to harvest energy from the sun than the place where the sun is located. While what Jaffe has already designed and built is promising, it also will take a significant amount of investment and technology to get it where it needs to be for this to become a reality. Still, this is fascinating stuff and could one day revolutionize renewable energy, at least that from the sun.

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