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Global Prosperity Through Space-Based Solar Power The Power Star TM Concept. Prof. David Hyland Mech Aero – 2014 Hilton Philadelphia Airport Hotel September 8 -10, 2014. Power Star TM. Also contributed at the International Conference on SBSP, Kobe, Japan, April 2014.

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global prosperity through space based solar power the power star tm concept

Global Prosperity Through Space-Based Solar PowerThe Power StarTM Concept

Prof. David Hyland

Mech Aero – 2014

Hilton Philadelphia Airport Hotel

September 8 -10, 2014

slide2

Power StarTM

Also contributed at the International Conference on SBSP, Kobe, Japan, April 2014

So new it’s scarcely noticed,

So old it’s almost forgotten

background
Background
  • All previous SPS concepts
    • Involve gigantic, complex, articulated structures
    • Contain numerous, perhaps 1000s, of moving parts
    • Require numerous launches
    • Require on-orbit fabrication/construction, usually robotic
    • Involve serious dynamic stability issues
  • Power StarTM combines very new and very old technologies to obtain:
    • The simplest possible structure
    • No moving parts (except electrons and photons)
    • One launch vehicle (A one-km system can fit into several existing vehicles)
    • No on-orbit construction
    • Inherent dynamic stability and robustness
the new
The New

The next slide shows the new technology.

Solar collectors and microwave transmitters can be printed on a thin fabric.

The collectors and transmitters are combined in modules called “collectennas”TM.

slide5

Transmitter

Solar cell

Solar cell

Power connectors

Conductive coating (ground)

Substrate layer

The New

Printed Patch Antennae

Printed Solar Arrays

Solar-Microwave Fabric

the old
The Old

The next slide shows the Echo satellite technology.

The satellite is launched in a small container, then inflated to form a large, hollow sphere.

fabrication of the power star tm
Fabrication of the Power StarTM

Solar-Microwave FabricTM is produced in oval strips

The strips are joined to make the sphere

slide9

Meridonial Sectors

Spherical Balloon

deployment
Deployment

The Power Star is folded in a small container that is launched in one launch vehicle.

The container opens and the balloon is inflated

slide11

Negligible final angular velocity

Packaging and Deployment

the basic module
The Basic Module
  • The sphere is covered with collectennaTM modules arranged in a randomized pattern
    • This avoids grating lobes
  • Ground beacons give the desired power distribution on the ground
  • Each collectennaTM module senses the ground beacon radiation, amplifies it, and transmits it in reverse time.
    • This gives the best fit to the desired power distribution
    • Multiple beams can be formed and shaped
slide13

In each patch antenna:

  • Local microprocessor records beacon radiation waveform
  • Amplifies waveform and emits it back in reverse time.
  • Power optimally matches desired power distribution on the ground.

Transmitter

Solar cell

Solar cell

Substrate layer

transceivers

Exterior surface

Copper grid

Power connector

Microwave Power

Rectenna Beacons

Random Tessellation to prevent grating lobes

Beacon Radiation

Printed microwave transmitter elements

Printed solar array elements

No moving parts!

fundamental power shaping concept
Fundamental Power Shaping Concept

The next two charts illustrate the power shaping concept as first devised for acoustics

slide15

The very same time-reversal principle has been applied to acoustics. See Scientific American, November 1999.

illustration of power shaping
Illustration of Power Shaping

The collectennaTM operations are simultaneous. But we illustrate one step at a time.

The next chart shows a simulation of a flat phased array receiving radiation from two beacons on the ground.

slide18

Recording the beacon signals, then amplifying them and playing them back in reverse time occur concurrently. To simplify the explanation, we illustrate these steps separately. First, consider the beacon propagation…

On this plane we have two point sources representing the beacons

When the beacon radiation reaches the line segment representing the phased array, each point on the line records the wave-form that it sees.

Each pixel on this line segment is a separate recorder

illustration of power shaping continued
Illustration of Power Shaping (Continued)

The next chart shows the transmission step

Two spots of concentrated power, centered on the beacon locations are created.

If the phased array were infinitely large, the two point sources would be matched exactly

slide20

Now turn off the beacon and let each pixel on the line segment re-transmit the wave-form it recorded - but in reverse time…

Note the converging wave fronts

The amplitude on the ground plane has two concentrations centered on the beacons. If the transmitting array were infinite in extent, these would be point concentrations.

Each pixel on this line segment transmits the recorded signal in reverse time

a better shape
A Better Shape

The next chart shows that a spherical phased array would work as well.

A sphere gives flexibility – collect power from any direction, transmit power in any direction.

No moving parts needed.

slide23

Localized Power Distribution

Solar radiation

Beacon radiation

Interior surface printed with -wave receiver/transmitters (possibly shorter wavelengths)

power distribution summary
Power Distribution - Summary
  • Each antenna transmits only if the beacon(s) radiation is received.
  • Each transmitting antenna draws power from
    • Solar cells in its immediate vicinity (within a few centimeters), or
    • Through the thickness of the “skin” from receivers on the inner surface of the skin.
  • Power transmission through the skin traverses a few centimeters or less. Each transmitter receives just a few Watts No high voltages, no large wires
  • Power distribution to each antenna is local – there is no need for a complex power management system.
  • Strictly local architecture means robustness against partial damage!
dynamic stability of power star tm
Dynamic Stability of Power StarTM

The next chart shows that surface errors or damage can be compensated solely by electronic means.

There is no control/structure interaction – The system is inherently stable

error compensation is purely electronic there is no control structure interaction
Error Compensation is purely electronic. There is no control/structure Interaction

Undistorted radiation pattern

Phased Array Gain

Disturbances

System Dynamics

Array element deformation/vibration

Sensor measurements of array element position errors

Electronic phase adjustment

Actuator forces

and torques

Actuator dynamics

Dynamic feedback control

Actuator commands

the overall concept
The Overall Concept

The next chart shows a sketch of the overall concept

We also list the important features

slide28

Transmitter

Random Tessellation to prevent grating lobes

Solar cell

Solar cell

Substrate layer

transceivers

Printed solar array elements

Printed microwave transmitter elements

Summary Sketch of the Concept

Unique features:

  • Its structure is extremely simple and can be fit into many launch vehicle payload envelopes.
  • It can gather solar power from any angle and beam power in any direction (s) without slewing or structural deformation.
  • It has no moving parts.
  • It can optimally approximate any desired field distribution on the ground.
  • It requires no in-space assembly or construction
  • It has no control/structure feedback so the system is guaranteed dynamically stable.
  • The operation of the phased array is adaptive so that even if severely damaged, the system can retain some level of useful performance.

~ 1 km

w

conclusion
Conclusion

Power StarTM is launched as a small seed, then grows to a mighty sphere.

Although large, it uses the independent action of each small part.

It uses the very new to give new life to an old but beautiful satellite design.

(The Latin means: “Nature is greatest in the smallest things”)

slide30

Power Star

Natura in Minima Maxima