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Published:2002
Author:
  • Harvey Feingold
  • Connie Carrington
Origin:Presented at the 53rd International Astronautical Congress, 2002
Editor:
Abstract:The SSP Exploratory Research and Technology (SERT) program undertaken by NASA in the 1999-2000 timeframe was the third in a recent series of NASA sponsored studies of Space Solar Power (SSP) that began with the 1995 SSP "Fresh Look" Study, and was followed by the SSP Concept Definition Study in 1998. In all three studies, a major focus has been on identifying system concepts, architectures and technologies that may ultimately produce a practical, economically viable source of electrical power to help satisfy the world’s growing energy needs. As part of the SERT program, members of the study team developed several new and innovative SSP concepts that sprung from a desire to address the problem areas of previous system concepts with new technology and system solutions. In the previous SSP studies it has been shown that systems analyses and sensitivity studies are key to understanding the merits of different system concepts and technologies, particularly with respect to their impact on the mass and cost of space hardware and their ultimate economic impact on the cost of SSP-produced electricity. Enabled by analytical models and tools developed over the series of SSP studies, seven different system concepts as well as different technology choices within these concepts were quantitatively compared with one another on the basis of the mass and cost metrics suggested above. Accompanying sensitivity studies have permitted examination of how variations in the projected capabilities of different technologies could affect conclusions drawn from these analyses. This paper summarizes the results of these analytical efforts and from those results, identifies the most promising SSP concepts, including their key technologies and their comparative advantages and disadvantages.
References:
  • Space Solar Power: A Fresh Look at the Feasibility of Generating Solar Power in Space for Use on Earth
  • Space Solar Power: 1998 Concept Definition Study
  • SERT Systems, Integration, Analysis and Modeling
Related Entries:
Keywords:Power:Designs
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