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  • A ground-based beamed microwave power transmission system for use in the equatorial plane

    Paper ID



    • William C. Brown


    Microwave Power Transmission System






    Beamed microwave power transmission from Earth to space in the equatorial plane is discussed in terms of transmitting large amounts of power (10,000 to 200,000 kilowatts) for two applications: (1) a low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit (LEO to GEO) transportation system propelled by electric thrusters, and (2) orbiting industrial parks in LEO. The applications are described and their cost evaluated in terms of either cost per kilogram of payload delivered to GEO or cost per kilowatt hour delivered to industrial parks. The advanced nature of beamed power technology at a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz makes such an evaluation possible. The rotation of the Earth beneath the orbiting satellites dictatesthat the satellites be launched into space from the equator and that the electronically steerable power beams originate from sites on the equator to provide maximum dwell time between the electronically steerable beams and the space vehicles. The equatorial plane drastically reduces the cost of the supporting ground based and space based components of the system. An interesting by-product of these studies is a new flat, large-area geometry for space vehicles that could also apply to vehicles propelled by large areas of solar photovoltaics.