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Graduate Student Seminar - 03/15/2013

"A Conversion Module for Energy from Space"

by Paul Jaffe

Friday, March 15, 2013 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor: Professor Victor Granatstein

Solar power satellites have been envisioned as a means to provide electricity for terrestrial use. The approach entails the collection of solar energy in space and its wireless transmission to the earth. This potentially gives the benefit of provision of baseload power while avoiding the losses due to the day/night cycle and tropospheric effects that are associated with terrestrial solar power. Proponents have contended that the implementation of such systems could offer energy security, environmental, and technological advantages to those who would undertake their development. Among recent implementations commonly proposed for SSP, the Modular Symmetrical Concentrator and other modular concepts have received considerable attention. Each employs an array of modules for performing the conversion of concentrated sunlight into microwaves or laser beams for transmission to earth. The research described herein details efforts in the development and testing of photovoltaic arrays, power electronics, microwave conversion electronics, and antennas for 2.45 GHz microwave-based "sandwich" module prototypes. Prototypes were designed, fabricated, and subjected to the challenging conditions inherent in the space environment, including the solar concentration levels in which an array of modules might be required to operate.

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