India to Use Microwaves to Transmit Power from Space
Technology Articles 11/12/10
By: Chris Capps
It's an incredible development scientists have been looking into for some time, but the use of microwaves to transmit electricity from solar collectors in space to anywhere on the planet may soon be a reality if one proposal by India's former president is given the necessary momentum to take flight. The proposal by India's APJ Kalam and the National Space Society suggests that we may soon have the technology required to solve the energy crisis forever. But there is a deadly side to this proposal even if it could essentially save the planet and give free energy to all.
The proposal sounds simple, but is incredibly complex at its core. A rocket would be used to launch a massive solar array into space. Once it reaches orbit the array would be either constructed or unfold itself into a fully capable solar collection system. And this system would then have the ability to collect virtually an unlimited supply of solar energy to be transmitted back to the planet's surface. How would it get the electricity to Earth below? The solar collectors would be attached to a massive microwave transmitter which would then fire beams of incredibly powerful energy through the Earth's atmosphere to the planet below and microwave collection centers located throughout the planet.
But why haven't we created a system such as this before? Aside from the obvious costs associated with launching a massive satellite array into space, there are some very real concerns over the means such a satellite would use to transmit energy back to the planet's surface. A massive cable dragged into space would prove too heavy to effectively launch into space, and without the use of an orbital tower, this would be virtually impossible to create. But the wireless transmission of energy into microwaves could allow the electricity to bypass the atmosphere, which traditionally blocks a substantial portion of light that reaches Earth and then be collected on the ground in a form usable by those working with power companies.
But is it safe to launch microwaves to the planet? This is one of the concerns that has been raised in the past. If such a system's navigational controls were compromised somehow, it would make this potential power generating system and savior of mankind into a disturbing and nightmarish enemy for all those on the surface of the planet. Needless to say, there would have to be an incredibly advanced security system designed around the satellite that could shut it down remotely from Earth. But then with people depending on the power, this system too would be dangerous.
On the other hand, if the system truly were effective and the current technological limitations were overcome in seeking clean energy, we may one day live in a world where power is limitless, and the only thing we would have to worry about from the power companies would be stray microwaves bombarding Earth from above. Needless to say there are still a couple of things to work out.
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