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Scientists Successfully Transmit Space-Based Solar Power to Earth for the First Time

The SSPD-1 (Space Solar Power Demonstrator-1) is a system developed by researchers to wirelessly collect and transmit solar power from space. It consists of two panels that collect solar energy and an array of transmitters within MAPLE (Microwave Accelerated Plasma Electrodynamics) that send the energy using constructive and destructive interference. MAPLE has two receivers that convert the collected solar energy into DC electricity, which was used to power LEDs during the experiment. The system demonstrated the accuracy of the array by lighting up LEDs one at a time by shifting the transmissions between the receivers. One significant advantage of space-based solar power is its ability to operate 24/7, unlike ground-based solar power that is affected by night time. The researchers envision the technology being used to send energy to remote regions or areas affected by war or natural disasters without the need for ground infrastructure. Japan is planning to pilot the technology in 2025, with the aim of using space-based solar power by the mid-2030s.

Photo Credit: Andrea Caramello

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