The US Navy’s Plan to Beam Down Energy From Orbiting Solar Panels

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    Mar 17, 2014 7:58 PM GMT
    As the cost to go orbital decreases, things like this should be increasingly economical... pretty cool

    The Navy’s Plan to Beam Down Energy From Orbiting Solar Panels
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2014/03/space-solar/

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    Mar 18, 2014 3:04 AM GMT
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    Mar 18, 2014 4:40 AM GMT
    Funny how they never mention what the ground station looks like. When these things were planned back in the 70's, it was going to require rectenna farms spread across hundreds of acres to receive and convert the power. Not too handy for the mobile infantry, I'm thinking.

    They were also supposed to get around the cost-to-orbit thing by building factories on the moon and building all the shit there.

    Of course, a 70's computer took up a whole house, too... Still, the 70's version was pretty cool.

    http://www.nss.org/settlement/ColoniesInSpace/
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    Mar 18, 2014 1:42 PM GMT
    another pet project looking for a government tit.
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    Mar 19, 2014 12:59 AM GMT
    pellaz saidanother pet project looking for a government tit.


    This would have real military applications if you could project energy to whereever your battlefield was without having to worry about it. Obviously there are commercial applications as well.
  • MikeW

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    Mar 19, 2014 2:07 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidFunny how they never mention what the ground station looks like. When these things were planned back in the 70's, it was going to require rectenna farms spread across hundreds of acres to receive and convert the power.

    http://www.nss.org/settlement/ColoniesInSpace/

    I'd forgotten about this book but remember it very well now, thanks.

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    Mar 19, 2014 5:56 AM GMT
    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
    colony_by_ben_bova.jpg


    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. icon_razz.gif

    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... icon_eek.gif