Ground-based high energy power beaming in support of spacecraft power requirements
Guoan, Christopher M.
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This thesis investigates the feasibility of projecting ground-based laser power to energize a spacecraft electrical bus via the solar panels. The energy is projected through a telescope, using modern optical compensation systems, at controlled wavelengths. Research conducted on high-energy lasers has matured to the point today, that the bulk of the power required by spacecraft on orbit can be projected from the surface of the earth. With battery life being the greatest limitation on spacecraft lifespan, the ability to provide electrical power from the surface to a satellite in eclipse with degraded batteries could mean multi-billion dollar cost savings by extending the lifetime of current and future satellites.
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