Aerothermal OP t1_j080ksj wrote

You might not have read the submission comment. It includes non-military applications in space exploration, e.g. NASA exploring this for wireless power distribution on the Moon. We are going back to the moon after all. And my comment underneath links to ESA solaris, which is about energy distribution for everyone.

I didn't elaborate on the numerous satellite applications. It turns out, that energy generation and storage is very heavy and expensive on satellites, and solar only works effectively on the day side of planets. With wireless power distribution, you could have neighboring satellites beaming power to lighter weight small satellites and extending their mission life. Or you could have satellites charging even whilst in the shadow of a planetary body. Perhaps we could have radio telescopes set up on the dark side of the moon in craters, isolated from Earth's radio interference, and get extra power down to them from orbit.


Aerothermal OP t1_j07rvvg wrote

Another example; Recently at Airbus X-Works Innovation Factory in Munich, a key technology for space-based solar power was used to produce hydrogen. The technology was also used to light up a model city, and to cool a non-alcoholic beer in a connected fridge, before it was served to the watching audience. The work was highlighted today (9 November) by the European Space Agency (ESA), which plans to investigate key SBSP technologies through its Solaris Initiative. IMechE, Nov 2022

This work was linked to ESAs Solaris, where the space agency "envision a Europe and world where clean, abundant, secure, safe and affordable energy is available to everyone."


Aerothermal OP t1_j07ovby wrote

Northrop Grumman unveils their wireless power project 'Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research' (SSPIDR). It is being sold on its military applications for providing power to forward operating and contested areas, where warfighters need steady power to maintain mission operations. Consider the attacks on ground infrastructure in Ukraine, coupled with the force multiplier of UAVs, and the inherently short dwell time. Every problem is an opportunity to capitalize. Consider how powerful it would be to have mobile generators beaming power and keeping drones in the sky loitering potentially indefinitely. The Airbus Zephyr shown through solar power that it can be done, staying in the air for over 2 months at a time albeit with a huge wingspan and lots of solar cells.

This year Airbus demonstrated solar power beaming, with the idea of delivering concentrated power from space. Couple this with modern warfare developing 'teaming' or swarms of manned and unmanned vehicles and aircraft operating together.

The missile manufacturer MBDA unveiled a similar vision for the Future Combat Air System.

Lockheed Martin have been on it too for at least a decade, where they demonstrated laser power beaming to keep drones fully charged.

DARPA too have a similar project called Electric Sky which was in the media last year.

Startups are capitalizing on this emerging market too, such as the UK-based Space Power.

Then there's space exploration applications. NASA has ran several projects to develop visible light and laser power distribution, for UAVs, and for wireless charging for moon robots.

Medium/long range wireless power distribution is no longer sci-fi, it's starting to become serious business.