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.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.