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SpaceBased Solar Power An Opportunity for Strategic Security


Solar Energy is captured in space by large photovoltaic arrays and transmitted ... Space Solar Power systems that assure the long-term, sustainable energy security ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: SpaceBased Solar Power An Opportunity for Strategic Security

Space-Based Solar PowerAn Opportunity for
Strategic Security
  • Trends of Concern
  • Space-Based Solar Power
  • DoD, National, and International Impact
  • The Role of U.S. Government Leadership

The Energy ChallengeOur Generations Challenge
When asked shortly after WWII Prof Einstein,
what do you see as the greatest threat to
His prompt reply Exponential growth.
The Energy Challenge Trends of Concern
  • Energy growth tracks w/ population economic
  • Liquid fossil fuels may peak before alternatives
    come on line causing inability for supply to
    match demand, shortages economic shock,
    instability / state failure, and great power
  • Three energy concerns 1) mobility fuels, 2)
    base-load electricity, 3) peak-use electricity
  • By 2025, the world will have added 2 billion more
    people, 56 of the global population will be in
    Asia, and 66 will live in urban areas along the

Climate Change
American Competitiveness
  • Increased CO2 production may alter the Earths
    climate, possibly causing
  • Rising ocean levels and loss of coastal areas
  • More intense tropical storms humanitarian ops
  • Agricultural climate changecausing migration,
    and shifts in power, ethnic land based conflict
  • The U.S. is losing global market share
  • RD investments skilled workforce are declining
  • "a major workforce crisis in the aerospace
    industrya threat to national security and the
    U.S. ability to continue as a world leader.

The Energy Challenge Future Energy Options Must
  • Following wood, coal, and oil, the 4th energy
    must be
  • Non-depletable - to prevent resource conflicts
  • Environmentally clean to permit a sustainable
  • Continuously Available to provide base-load
    security for everyone
  • In a usable form to permit efficient
    consumption minimal infrastructure
  • Low cost - to permit constructive opportunity for
    all populations
  • A portfolio of substantial investments are
    needed, but options in the next 20-30 years are

Adapted from Dr. Ralph Nansens book, Sun
The Energy Challenge But What If National
Leaders Had A Solution
  • That Directly Addresses Global Energy Security
  • Can Deliver Power to Worlds Energy Rich and
    Poor Alike
  • Provides A Truly Sustainable Clean Energy Path
    Thru 21st Century
  • While Enhancing U.S. Competitiveness and Export
  • Todays U.S. Technical Leadership Can Become
    Economic Boom
  • (Space Carrying Trade, Energy Export, Material
    Science, Robotics,)
  • With Pre-existing U.S. Public Support?
  • 2002 American Space Use Poll - 1 Space Energy
    2 Planetary Defense
  • That Propels A Respected U.S. International
    Leadership Image?
  • Demonstrating a Global Solution to a Global
  • And Responds to the Interests of Both Political
  • Benefiting Conservative Business Interests
  • Benefiting Liberal Social Environmental

Capabilities and ChallengesWhat is Space Solar
  • Solar Energy is captured in space by large
    photovoltaic arrays and transmitted via a
    coherent microwave or laser beam to an Earth
    receiver where it is converted into either
    base-load electric power, low-intensity charging
    power, or synthetic fuels
  • Sunlight captured in space is many times more
    effective in providing continuous base load power
    compared to a solar array on the Earth
  • SBSP has been studied since 1970s by DOE, NASA,
    ESA, and JAXA, but has generally fallen through
    the cracks because no organization is
    responsible for both Space Programs and Energy

Space Solar
Solar Intensity 1,366 W/m2
No Night
Min Weather
Ground Solar
Solar Intensity 1,000 W/m2
Night Loss
Weather Loss
DoD, National, and International Impact Invest,
Survive, Flourish and Grow A Future History
Sustainable Civilization
Stable Population
Stable Climate
Demographic Transition
Reduce Conflict
Reduce GHG
Stellar Probe
Less Poverty
Nations develop
Growth in GDP
Export Markets
Hurricane Diversion
Clean Energy
Asteroid Defense
Directed Energy
Beamed Propulsion
Dredge Harbor
Reusable Launch Vehicle
Wireless Power Transmission
Space Radar Traffic Control
Energy Infrastructure
DoD, National, and International ImpactSBSP
Economic Opportunities
  • Energy Sales
  • U.S. Energy Companies Utilities as Global
    Market Suppliers of Clean Energy
  • Space Access
  • Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) for Rapid/Low-Cost
    Space Access (
  • Space Tourism / Travel
  • Lunar resource extraction/utilization following
    NASA exploration
  • Orbital Infrastructure
  • In-space Transport and Maintenance
  • Space Manufacturing Systems
  • Robotic Systems
  • Power Generation
  • High-efficiency/High-volume Space Terrestrial
    Solar Collection Systems
  • Space Terrestrial Power Distribution Technology
  • Wireless Power Beaming
  • Terrestrial Remote Power Transmission (Low-Cost
    Modern Infrastructure)
  • Continuous Electronics Re-Charge (Expanded
    Wireless Capabilities)
  • Enhanced Telecommunications Capabilities
    (Industrial Personal)
  • Enhanced/Persistent Earth Monitoring (Radar

DoD, National, and International Impact SBSP
National Security Benefits
  • Space Access and Maneuver
  • RLV Development for Operationally Responsive
  • Increased technical readiness for Space Tethers
  • Surveillance
  • High Power and Large Aperture development for
    Space Radar
  • Space Structures
  • Higher efficiency and Lighter Weight Solar Cells
  • Increased technical readiness for Membrane
    Solar Dynamic Structures
  • Industrial and Science Technology Capabilities
  • Preservation of a Robust Aerospace Industry
  • Science and Engineering Educational emphasis
  • Advanced Robotics and Unmanned Systems
  • Operational Maneuver on Earth
  • Increased technical readiness for Direct Beaming
    of Transmitted Power
  • Electricity-to-Fuel Conversion competence

DoD, National, and International ImpactDoD SBSP
Energy Applications
  • 24/7 Off-Grid Garrison Base Power
  • 5 - 15 MW/day rectenna
  • 24/7 Deployed Base Power Fuel
  • 5-8 MW continuous requirement
  • JP-8 via Sabatier refining processes
  • Floating rectenna sea base capability
  • Humanitarian/Nation Building Power
  • Defendable electrical power supply
  • Energy w/low infrastructure cost/time
  • Mobile Platform/Soldier Power
  • Direct beaming to air or seaborne platforms
  • Low-power beaming for soldier recharge
  • Enables permanent surveillance/ops
  • Space Applications
  • Satellite power/maneuver
  • Space-based radar
  • Debris de-orbit

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman
Courtesy of Raytheon
Capabilities and Challenges If this has been
looked at before, whats changed?
  • 40 Efficient Solar Cells!
  • Materials / Nanotechnology
  • Radar Laser Technology
  • Robotics / In-Space
  • Construction Servicing
  • Deployable / Gossamer
  • Structures
  • Thermal Protection
  • Tethers

NRC-Validated NASA Fresh-Look SERT Studies
Capabilities and Challenges If this has been
looked at before, whats changed?
Capabilities and Challenges Security the Space
Solar Power Option
  • Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) is an attractive
    long-term technology option that involves a
    compelling synergy between Energy Security, Space
    Security, and National Security
  • Japan, China, India EU already see the
  • The most significant technical challenges are the
    development of
  • Low-cost re-usable space access
  • Demonstration of space-to-Earth power beaming
  • Efficient and light space-qualified solar arrays
  • Space Assembly, Maintenance and Servicing, and
  • Large in-space structures
  • These are in areas that already interest the DoD
    and others and with modest departures to
    current RD efforts could retire many of the
    technical barriers to Space-Based Solar Power

DoD, National, and International ImpactProposed
Vision Objectives of Space Solar Power
Assured Energy Security for the U.S. and Its
Allies through Affordable Abundant Space
Solar Power with First Power within 25 years
- VISION - The United States and Partners enable
within the next 20 years the development and
deployment of affordable Space Solar Power
systems that assure the long-term, sustainable
energy security of the U.S. and all mankind
Innovation that Creates Novel Technologies and
Systems Enabling New, Highly Profitable
Industries on Earth and in Space
Assured U.S. Preeminence in Space Access and
Operations through Dramatic Advances in
Transformational Space Capabilities
The Role of U.S. Government LeadershipA
Potential Action Plan
  • Space-Based Solar Power
  • Should be re-evaluated for technical feasibility
    and deliverability in a strategically relevant
    period (other nations have stated goals started
  • May offer significant unique energy security
    benefits in an international context
  • Requires only a relatively modest additional
    investment to address key barriers
  • Represents a small departure from existing U.S.
    (DOD, DOE, NASA) programsbut involves tremendous
    synergies with other national goals
  • The U.S. may want to consider a major SBSP
  • U.S. Government can play a significant role
    because its responsibilities and programs
    straddle energy, security, and space
  • Next Steps (Action Items/Options)
  • (A) NSSO initial situation-assessment
    architecture study through Sep 2007
  • (O) Sponsor a fast-paced directed quick-look
    study (3-4 months 500K)
  • (O) If the results are positive, a larger scale,
    seedling-type study should be undertaken to add
    legitimacy (12 months 2M)
  • (O) Results would inform a range of decisions by
    NLT 2009
  • (O) Form a national SBSP organization w/concept
    demos in 5-7 years

The Role of U.S. Government LeadershipDevelopment
Steps for Consideration
  • Quick Look Study 4-months, 500K
  • State-of-the-art review using existing NASA
    modeling tools
  • Seedling Study 12-months 2M
  • Technical, financial, environmental,
    organizational risk-retirement roadmaps
  • Identify legitimate SBSP development partner
  • Build a credible business case
  • Private/Public SBSP Corporation
  • Congressionally approved entity using successful
    Commsat model
  • Concept Demonstrations 5-7 years
  • Should include international entrepreneurial
    partnership where able
  • DARPA-led w/NASA, DOE, NSF DoD collaboration
  • Ground-to-ground high-power microwave or laser
  • Ground-to-aerostat-to-ground microwave or laser
  • LEO- and GEO-to-Earth power transmission
  • Space-to-space power transmission
  • Orbital maneuver space infrastructure
  • Low-cost space access technology development and
    flight demonstrations

The Role of U.S. Government LeadershipJoining
Government, Commercial, Intl SBSP Interests
DOE Solar Cells Terrestrial Distribution
- VISION - The United States and Partners enable
within the next 20 years the development and
deployment of affordable Space Solar Power
systems that assure the long-term, sustainable
energy security of the U.S. and all mankind
Space Structures Tethers OM
DARPA Natl Labs Academia
Robotics, Materials, Computational Intelligence,
Lasers, Chips, WPT NSF
Private Investment Energy, Aerospace, Telecom,
International Intelsat-Type Corporation Energy
Launch Services
We Do These Things Not Because They Are Easy,
but Because they Are Hard - President John F.
ConclusionSpace-Based Solar Power A Strategic
Opportunity for America
Energy Security
Environmental Security
Economic Competitiveness
National Needs
Bring feasibility to the attention of natl
leadership - highlight USGs enabling role
Back-Up Slides
The Potential of Space Solar PowerBroad Public
  • Over the years, a number of goals have been
    proposed for the U.S. space program including
    missions to Mars (Zubrin 1996), space
    colonization (O'Neill 1976), a return to the moon
    (Spudis 1996), and space tourism (David 2004).
    The purpose of this exploratory study was to
    measure the level of public interest in different
    space goals.
  • Two goals stood out far beyond all others. The
    first of these goals was developing the
    capability of using Space-Based Solar Power
    (SBSP) or space energy to meet the nation's
    energy needs. In 2002 32 percent, nearly 1/3 of
    the respondents, supported this goal. In 2005, 35
    percent, again nearly 1/3 of respondents,
    supported the development of SBSP. The second
    goal that appeared to receive broad support was
    developing the technology to deflect asteroids or
    comets that might threaten the Earth with impact
    (planetary defense).

2002 Survey - National Space Goals
Matula Loveland, 2006
SBSP is most like Hydroelectric
  • High Capital Costs
  • Long Payback
  • No Fossil Fuel Feed
  • Renewable
  • 2.5 GW (sustained)
  • High Capital Costs
  • Long Payback
  • No Fossil Fuel Feed
  • Renewable
  • 2.07 GW (peak)

How big is the SBSP resource?
363 TW-yrs Total area of a cylinder of 1km width
and perimeter at GEO (w2pir). In reality, you
would not build a ring, and individual powersats
could be turned normal to the Sun. However a
ring establishes the max upper limit of energy
and is a good approximation. For a ring, max
limit of actual radiation available in a 1km band
must be reduced by self-shielding (pi/2), and
perhaps worst inclination degrees (cosine of 23
degrees .92)
Remaining Oil Reserve of 1.285 TBBL 249.4
TW-yrs More and more of this oil will have to be
used to recover remaining reserves
250 TW-yrs
Annual World Energy Demand (All Forms)
Annual energy Available in just 1 km of GEO
All Recoverable Oil
50 TW (2050)
30 TW (2025)
Annual Energy-to-Grid On-Earth 21 TW assuming
10 Solar-to-Grid of 1 km
15 TW (2007)
Annual Oil Production 8TW-yr
Drilling Up How large is the GEO solar resource?
1 year x 1 km wide band 212 TW-years All
Remaining Oil Resource 250 TW-years
Every Kilometer-wide band at GEO receives nearly
as much energy per annum as the content of the
entire remaining oil 1.28 T BBls of oil remaining
How many 5GW SPS would it take to displace
generating capacity?
  • Nigeria 1
  • North Korea 1.5
  • Burma 1.5
  • U.S.A. Annual Growth 1-2
  • Venezuela 4
  • Thailand 5
  • Mexico 10
  • South Korea 10
  • Africa 20
  • India 23
  • Japan 52
  • China 68
  • U.S.A. Base-Load 69
  • OECD Europe 150
  • U.S.A. Total Capacity 200
  • World Today 742
  • Electric Gen only
  • World 2100 10,000
  • All Energy for projected population at Developed
    Lifestyle (50TW)

The Limits of SBPS
5 GW
  • Assuming Each SPS delivers 5GW
  • It would require up to 4 SPS to built per year to
    meet current annual growth in US Electrical
    Demand (2 of 1 TW, or 20 GW)
  • It would require 200 SPS to replace current US
    Generating Capacity of 1 TW (70 Fossil Fuels,
    50 Coal)
  • It would require 742 SPS to meet todays World
    Electrical Demand of 3.7TW, spaced one every 357
  • It would require 10 to replace current generating
    capacity of Mexico or South Korea1 for Nigeria,
    4 for venezuela, 5 Thailand, 20 doubles all
  • It would require 10,000 SPS to meet the Total
    Energy Demand of the World in 2100, estimated to
    be 50TW (50,000GW, or 5KWe for each of 10 billion

A New ApproachSpace Power Feasibility Evolution
ESA Study
Japan METI / JASDA Study
NASA Fresh Look
NASA / DOE studies
NRC Report
Reference Design
Peter Glaser Proposes
Does this look like an energy project to you?
  • .7 1.2B first unit cost
  • (6-10B Development)
  • 1 - 5B

It should. Think of an RLV as an energy mining
platform. The way to energy security is through