Japanese Satellite To Beam Solar Power To Earth Next Year

According to the latest reports, Japan is on its way to beam solar power from space to Earth next year, two years after a similar task has been achieved by the engineers in the US.

Japan satellite to beam solar power to Earth in 2025

Japan is set to accomplish the feat of beaming solar power from space to Earth next year. This achievement comes two years after it was first accomplished by U.S. engineers.

This development is a significant milestone towards creating a space-based solar power station that could assist in reducing the world’s reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in the face of the intensifying battle against climate change.

During the International Conference on Energy from Space, which took place this week, Koichi Ijichi, an adviser at the Japanese research institute Japan Space Systems, discussed Japan’s plan to demonstrate a miniature space-based solar power plant. The plant will transmit energy wirelessly from low Earth orbit to Earth.

“It will be a small satellite, about 180 kilograms [400 pounds], that will transmit about 1 kilowatt of power from the altitude of 400 kilometers [250 miles],” Ijichi said at the conference.

One kilowatt is approximately the amount of power required to operate a small household appliance, such as a dishwasher, for an hour, depending on its size.

As a result, the demonstration is not yet at the level required for commercial use.

The spacecraft will utilize a photovoltaic panel of 22 square feet (2 square meters) to charge its battery. This accumulated energy will then be converted into microwaves and transmitted towards a receiving antenna located on Earth.

Due to the high speed of the spacecraft – approximately 17,400 mph (28,000 km/h) – the antenna elements will need to be spread out over a distance of around 25 miles (40 km) and spaced 3 miles (5 km) apart. This will ensure that sufficient energy is transmitted.

“The transmission will take only a few minutes,” Ijichi said. “But once the battery is empty, it will take several days to recharge.”

The OHISAMA project, which means “sun” in Japanese, is set to launch in 2025. The project aims to transmit solar power wirelessly from space to the Earth.

The team has already successfully demonstrated wireless transmission of solar power on the ground from a stationary source.

They plan to test the transmission from an aircraft in December. The aircraft will be equipped with a photovoltaic panel that is identical to the one that will be flown on the spacecraft. The power will be beamed down over a distance of 3 to 4 miles (5 to 7 km).

Rada Mateescu
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