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The Solar Umbrella: A Low-cost Demonstration of Scalable Space Based Solar PowerWithin the past decade, the Space Solar Power (SSP) community has seen an influx of stakeholders willing to entertain the SSP prospect of potentially boundless, base-load solar energy. Interested parties affiliated with the Department of Defense (DoD), the private sector, and various international entities have all agreed that while the benefits of SSP are tremendous and potentially profitable, the risk associated with developing an efficient end to end SSP harvesting system is still very high. In an effort to reduce the implementation risk for future SSP architectures, this study proposes a system level design that is both low-cost and seeks to demonstrate the furthest transmission of wireless power to date. The overall concept is presented and each subsystem is explained in detail with best estimates of current implementable technologies. Basic cost models were constructed based on input from JPL subject matter experts and assume that the technology demonstration would be carried out by a federally funded entity. The main thrust of the architecture is to demonstrate that a usable amount of solar power can be safely and reliably transmitted from space to the Earth's surface; however, maximum power scalability limits and their cost implications are discussed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Contreras, Michael T.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Trease, Brian P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Sherwood, Brent
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 12, 2015
Publication Date
September 23, 2013
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Astronautical Congress
Location: Beijing
Country: China
Start Date: September 23, 2013
End Date: September 27, 2013
Sponsors: Chinese Society of Astronautics, International Astronautical Federation, International Inst. of Space Law, International Academy of Astronautics
Distribution Limits
climate change
energy independence
Space Solar Power (SSP)

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