Space Ramblings

US Army Pioneering Space Based Microwave Power?

Well I’m guessing this is going to go away after than Jesse Owens if the Democrats take the White House, but the Pentagon is moving forward on a plan to use solar based microwave power to supply US bases overseas. It’s a good idea in theory and might well lead to domestic use of microwave based power and a bigger human footprint in space… assuming it goes anywhere. After all during the Vietnam War the Pentagon wanted to deploy a solar shield. To be fair so did the USSR. But that never got anywhere.

The Pentagon seeks to eliminate U.S. dependence on foreign oil, including imports that come from the conflict laden Middle East — something which it sees as a critical “strategic energy vulnerability.” In order to eliminate this dependence, it proposes a radical alternative energy strategy.

The Pentagon’s National Security Space Office (NSSO) proposed collecting solar rays in space and beaming it back to Earth. It stated in the report that it feels that this is a “near-term” solution, which could be realized very quickly.

Such a move it says in the report, would allow U.S. forces deployed around the world to eliminate the long logistic chain needed to deliver fuel to vehicles and other generators, by beaming power directly where needed. The NSSO labels the technology Space Solar Power (SSP) and has issued a press release (PDF) on a blog it is publishing with the Space Frontier Foundation.

Well it certainly works for me. No one can complain about solar energy and the technology has been kicking around private industry for a while without ever going anywhere. The door has been shut or all but shut on the domestic use and consumption of nuclear power plants, so that means if you want energy use, you either spend or conserve or look for a third way, a technological solution and this is a majorly promising one.

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