Wireless Energy Transmission in Space: Recent Projects and Planned In-Orbit Experiments

Dublin, Dec. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Power Transmission by Laser” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.Electric power sharing among spacecraft is advantageous for many missions because it makes the spacecraft simpler, more compact and reduces mass, whilst enhancing the power requirements for the mission. Conventional electric cables cannot be used to transfer electricity from the ground to space due to the huge distances and spacecraft velocities involved. At present, the only way to transfer power over long distances in space is by electromagnetic radiation.Several smaller spacecraft can be powered by one large orbital power plant;Due to mass, size, economic or the other constraints the use of a large power plant is either not possible or prohibited on a spacecraft;Large specific mass or short lifetimes of current alternative spacecraft power systems;Spacecraft power supply during peak power periods.The particular examples may be:Power supply of spacecraft in low orbits (for example in LEO) where atmospheric drag force acting on spacecraft becomes significant;Power supply of spacecraft in a planet’s shadow or in the deep space missions;Power supply of space rovers;An example of such a kind of application is an interorbital tug docked to a payload container (PLC) charges its electric propulsion system that it uses to transfer the PLC to GEO. It will receive power from one or several energy stations (ES) that are located in such a way that at least one station should be in the field of view of the tug at any one time, whilst the distances between tug and ES should be minimal throughout the flight.It is flexible for different mission scenarios;It can serve several spacecraft missions;It can also be used for communications;It does not interfere with the other radio-frequency band communication channels;At long distance the overall power transportation system by laser is more efficient than using physical connections such as cables.The main disadvantages of the technology include:Requirement of a direct line of sight with the target;Atmospheric absorption, and absorption and scattering by clouds, fog, rain, etc., cause up to 100 % losses;Conversion between electricity and light is limited. Photovoltaic cells achieve 40 – 50 % efficiency. /1, 3-4/ (The conversion efficiency of laser light into electricity is much higher than that of sunlight into electricity).Laser radiation could be hazardous.The current status of the technology is described in the following sections of this report. The technology may also be mentioned as “energy beaming” and “wireless energy transmission”.Key Topics Covered:IntroductionCompanies MentionedBoeingEADSEnergia Rocket and Space CorporationLaserMotiveLockheed MartinNASANational Renewable Energy LaboratoryNaval Research LaboratorySkolkovoUS Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyUniversity of KaiserslauternFor more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/7isk9About ResearchAndMarkets.com
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