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Orbital Power Systems

  • Power generation in space is fairly straightforward given that sunlight is about 8 times brighter in space and is available at its full intensity all day everyday. Solar arrays of practically any size and quantity can be constructed using raw materials either from the IST pipeline service or from the Moon. Transmitting the energy produced to receiving stations on the surface of the Earth is somewhat more challenging. All major studies done to date agree that it is possible, but so far power beaming using microwave transmissions has only been demonstrated on a very small scale.

    Phase 1 of our power satellite product will therefore aim to build a fully working geostationary power satellite with a capacity of about 1 Gigabyte delivered to a receiving station on the Earth's surface. It will however be designed in such a way that it is inherently scalable to larger implementations of up to 1 Terawatt generation capacity. All materials for Phase 1 development will be brought from Earth.

    It is intended that subsequent phases of IST power station and other infrastructure construction will use material mined on a large scale on the Moon and eventually on Asteroids. However, development of industrial facilities on the Moon requires substantial infrastructure to be placed in Earth orbit and in Lunar orbit before this development process can even begin. The Lunar surface is a hazardous environment for human activity. IST will not attempt to carry out any work there until enough facilities are in place to minimise all risks to personnel.

    Ideally a transparent dome of some robust material should be constructed by autonomous robotic devices over the entire site in which an engineer will be working. This would provide radiation and meteor shielding and a breathable atmosphere. There still remains the problems of lunar dust exposure and low gravity.

    In fact an astronaut working in Earth orbit assembling a space station or power station will face similar problems with the exception of dust contamination. In this case it is intended that all structures be composed of sections which can be removed and taken into a safe working environment for repair.

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