Beaming Electricity Via Relay Satellites in Support of Deployed Combat Forces
Essenpreis, Thomas R.
Rhoades, Mark M.
Bursch, Daniel W.
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The logistics required to supply military forces based in remote hostile territory can be onerous. A major component of those supplies is the fuel required to operate generators that provide electrical power. This research sought to determine the feasibility for a space-based system using wireless power transfer technology to relay power to a remote base from a location with a commercial grid. The two wireless power transfer methods examined in this research both use electro-magnetic radiation. One method operates in the part of the spectrum known as radio using high power transmitters and the other operates in the near infrared using lasers. These two methods were integrated into architectures and modeled and analyzed to determine which one was the more feasible. The result is that while both methods are possible the radio wireless power transfer method loses far more power from end to end than does the laser method and also needs to be in a far lower orbit in order to operate at all, requiring more spacecraft for global coverage. The laser based relay does have many challenges however including weather effects and safety concerns.
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