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Space Solar Power: Satellite ConceptsSpace Solar Power (SSP) applies broadly to the use of solar power for space related applications. The thrust of the NASA SSP initiative is to develop concepts and demonstrate technology for applying space solar power to NASA missions. Providing power from satellites in space via wireless transmission to a receiving station either on earth, another celestial body or a second satellite is one goal of the SSP initiative. The sandwich design is a satellite design in which the microwave transmitting array is the front face of a thin disk and the back of the disk is populated with solar cells, with the microwave electronics in between. The transmitter remains aimed at the earth in geostationary orbit while a system of mirrors directs sunlight to the photovoltaic cells, regardless of the satellite's orientation to the sun. The primary advantage of the sandwich design is it eliminates the need for a massive and complex electric power management and distribution system for the satellite. However, it requires a complex system for focusing sunlight onto the photovoltaic cells. In addition, positioning the photovoltaic array directly behind the transmitting array power conversion electronics will create a thermal management challenge. This project focused on developing designs and finding emerging technology to meet the challenges of solar tracking, a concentrating mirror system including materials and coatings, improved photovoltaic materials and thermal management.
Document ID
Document Type
Little, Frank E. (Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: 1999 NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
Subject Category
Energy Production and Conversion
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.