Hmm... there was actually a little sub-genre of SF stories in the Pulps that took place in O'Niel Colonies. They just assumed that the whole thing would take off exactly as written by Heppenheimer. Sort of a ready-made future fantasy scenario that everyone could use for free. Makes me want to go back and re-read this novel by Ben Bova
, which I recall as being the best of the lot. Genetically perfect young sex god dude gets kidnapped from the heavens and has to crawl around on Earth with terrorists and liberals and the like for a while before saving the world, in some way that I can't quite remember just now. I have the one with the cover by Boris Vallejo. If I've still got it
BTW: I sat at the head table with Ben Bova at a dinner about twenty years ago and dropped a couple of references to this book. It was kind of funny because he was asking questions about the topic of the day and everyone at the table was deferring to me. But Bova didn't have a clue who I was. (I think I was a bit miffed about not being introduced, so I kept it that way.) He probably thought I was someone from the NSA or something.
Oh, also about the size of the Earth station. There might be more compact receiver technology these days (in fact, I know there is, though maybe a bit less efficient) but part of the point of having the beam spread out over hundreds of acres is that it's safe
that way. If you concentrate the beam onto a small target, you could fry anyone who happened to get in the way. Oh, wait...