Trapping the Sun’s energy in space and beaming it back to Earth? It may sound like science fiction but it is happening now and will soon become a science fact.
Many countries have been working on making that idea a reality for years.
Now, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) along with Northrop Grumman has announced that their project is ready to collect solar power in space and beam it to Earth using radio frequency (RF).
First end-to-end demonstration of the technology
A satellite solar panel has been successfully designed by Northrop Grumman’s Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research Project. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract of $100 million to develop a prototype space solar power system.
The trial of technology was performed successfully in lab tests. It has cleared the way for the panels to be sent to orbit in a military experiment planned for 2025.
If all works well, the truth could end up being stranger than fiction.
Jay Patel, vice president, remote sensing programs business unit, Northrop Grumman said “The successful conversion of sunlight into RF energy in a lightweight and scalable architecture is a significant step forward in delivering the technology building blocks to achieve the Arachne mission,”
“We are helping to deliver a pioneering capability that can provide a strategic advantage to our forces around the globe.”