Thanks for your comment, Trenth. I see your point, but I am not sure what you mean by "death rays." I am pretty sure this isn't the Navy's intent, but I would be interested to hear more about what you think.
@Elizabeth - yes the so called death beams could be very harmful to humans, we might need to create corridor for the beams to travel and ensure that no humans are kept in the area where the beams are received.
@Elizabeth – harvesting energy from the sun is one good way to ensure we use renewable energy. Sun has enough power to power up the entire world. The difficult part is to harvest the energy and transfer it to the earth.
I hate to be so negative, but this is a terrible idea, and seems like just a way to get money from the taxpayers to make space based death rays.
From placing panels in space you gain, 4x over ground based if you can keep it out of the earth and the moons shadow.
You lose at least that much converting rf and back. You lose 75%. You have to keep the RF below about 100 watts per meter squared, that's only 50Watts after conversion. Earth based solar panels would produce 200Watts dc/4 or about the same 50W, and they would do it on our rooftops, without the 10,000 dollars per lb it costs to launch sufficient space! As for getting solar power during a hurricane, that's some fancy pr. just convert wastes to fuels and use them in your backup generators and peak generators when you need it.
Other folks have pointed out this could make a great death ray from space too. I agree. That's why the Navy is backing it.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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