Solar project is powered by £620k from Satellite Applications Catapult.

Solar project is powered by £620k from Satellite Applications Catapult – The future Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) system is the subject of research funded by the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult. Developing a baseload energy technology that is entirely renewable is the goal.

Solar project is powered by £620k from Satellite Applications Catapult
Solar project is powered by £620k from Satellite Applications Catapult

The UK Space Agency has granted a grant of £465k for the research, while the Satellite Applications Catapult has also contributed £155k toward the project’s overall cost of £620k. Until March 2023, it will be in effect.

According to Sam Adlen, Chief Strategy Officer of the Catapult, “This initiative is a crucial first step in the development of a workable Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) system” (pictured). “By supporting SBSP, the UK Space Agency is confirming its commitment to this crucial future energy technology, and that offers us a key boost as we launch this work,” said the researcher.

“The money enables us to offer many of the essential enabling components to guarantee that the entire solution—including the technology, environmental factors, and regulatory considerations—is done correctly the first time. Nations seeking to ensure their future energy security are closely monitoring the UK’s progress as the globe races to attain net-zero.

Net-zero

As was already indicated, there is also an environmental component, which the UK Space Agency highlighted:

According to Dr. Mamatha Maheshwarappa, the agency’s Payload Systems Lead, “Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) has the exciting potential to offer sustainable energy, helping meet the government’s net-zero aim and providing energy security.”

“We’re assisting Space Based Solar Power at various phases to hasten the technological advancements. This money will assist the Satellite Applications Catapult in examining programme enablers and accelerators for the development of new sustainable energy technology from space.

Parts

The project will focus on developing standard tooling interfaces for in-orbit servicing and manufacture as well as general Programme Assurance. Wireless power transmission from space will also be addressed.

In terms of wireless power transmission, for instance, it will look at ways to deliver a high-altitude demonstration of wireless power transmission and model the effects of SBSP’s power density on satellites and aircraft.

Additionally, it will investigate the equipment required for manipulating, maintaining, and putting together modular constructions in space, and it will create prototypes to promote the standardisation of those tools.

The study will also examine the best engineering practises for complicated energy programmes, find any gaps in current standards for applicable SBSP technologies, and provide a regulatory roadmap for the technology.

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