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Caltech Prepared to Test Space-Based Solar Power

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

While society on Earth continues to struggle with solar energy solutions, many scientists believe that massive, space-based solar farms could give an environmentally beneficial solution to the world's energy dilemma.


Isaac Asimov first described collecting solar power in space and wirelessly transmitting it in his short story Reason.


A research project at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is ready to test this “breakthrough” technology capable of generating solar power in space for use on Earth, according to the group.


Donald Bren, chairman of Irvine Company and a member of the Caltech Board of Trustees, donated USD 100 million to the institution and its Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP) in 2013 to fund the research.


The SSPP is planning a test launch of multifunctional technology demonstrator prototypes that will “collect sunlight and convert it to electrical energy, transfer energy wirelessly in free-space using radio frequency electrical power and deploy ultralight structures that will be used to integrate them.”


According to a press release, the project's first test will take place in early 2023.


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