TsNIIMash considers it possible to transfer gigawatts from space to Earth on a laser channel
The head of Roscosmos scientific institution — TsNIIMash initiated the establishment of Russian space solar power stations (SSPS) with a capacity of 10.1 GW of terrestrial wireless transmission of electricity to consumers.
The idea is to place the reflectors on the geostationary orbit, which will capture solar energy and convert it to send to the Earth.
In TsNIIMASH point out that American and Japanese designers have chosen to use the microwave conversion, which today is significantly less effective than laser. According to Melnikov, their design is based on the many kilometers of skeletal structures are significantly less effective than the centrifugal frameless, the experience of which is only available in Russian.
— Currently, the U.S. consortium that includes Lockheed Martin, Boeing, JPL, Marshall Center, Center for Glenn, as well as a number of universities, plans to create a commercial SSPS gigawatt level to 2016 — said the chief researcher TsNIIMASH Valery Melnikov. — China is going to participate in this market. A group of Japanese corporations led by Mitsubishi Corporation plans to build SSPS gigawatt level by 2025 as part of Solarbird. The total investment in the creation of SSPS is estimated at $ 24 billion
According to representatives of TSNIIMASH in the new economy trend of creating SSPS may determine in the future the pace of development of space technology.
Developed by foreign companies SSPS concept is this: from the solar battery large area (several square kilometers) located in space, energy is collected and converted to a microwave signal, which is transmitted by the transmitting antenna to a ground antenna. The Earth is converted RF signal into electricity acceptable parameters.
— In recent years, the world has sharply increased interest in the SSPS with the laser energy transmission channel for the successful development of infrared semiconductor lasers and fiber lasers, especially — says Melnikov. — The concept of laser SSPS is close to the microwave version: solar panels feed the solid-state lasers, distributed in their area. From laser energy through optical fibers going to the central optical system of the power transmission to Earth, where she photovoltaic cells reconverted into electricity.
Infrared solid-state lasers offer a number of significant advantages, says the scientist.
— A much smaller divergence of the laser beam over the microwave signal gives the orders of magnitude smaller area of the transmitting and receiving systems, and because of the small reception area an opportunity to supply high-latitude regions of Russia, Canada, Greenland and other islands in the northern latitudes and Antarctica from SSPS in geostationary orbit — Melnikov said.
In TsNIIMASH point out that the U.S. and Japanese designers have chosen to use the microwave conversion, which today is significantly less effective than laser. According to Melnikov, their developments are based on the many kilometers of skeletal structures are significantly less effective than the centrifugal frameless, the experience of which is only available in Russian.
— In February 1993, for transport-cargo ship "Progress" was held on the space experiment "Banner 2" in the disclosure of a centrifugal thin-film reflector with a diameter of 20 m and a mass of 4 kg, — said the representative of TsNIIMASH. — The experiment may be the basis for the creation of centrifugal solar cells and other large-scale cosmic structures. Opens the possibility for Russia through the creation of SSPS with laser channel the energy transfer from the centrifugal frameless solar panels occupy a leading position in the global process of development of industrial SSPS.