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Beaming Electricity via Relay Satellites in Support of Deployed Combat Forces
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA SPACE SYSTEMS ACADEMIC GROUP
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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 of 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 electromagnetic 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 feasible, the radio wireless power transfer method loses far more power from end to end than the laser method, and it also needs to be in a far lower orbit to operate at all, requiring more spacecraft for global coverage. The laser-based relay still has disadvantages though, including weather effects and safety concerns.
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