Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Space Based Energy - Good Idea?

Space based power generation may have its advantages but the chief obstacle is getting the energy down to Earth safely. There is a trade-off between lowering the energy density of the beam and the size of the antenna structure needed to receive it. One also has to ask if the high power levels will produce unwanted electromagnetic "polution"? Will the power beam interfere with communications or the operation of electronics? Medical equipment and devices like pacemakers are particularly sensitive and require special attention. This is the sort of question that the US Federal Communications Commission considers before granting broadcast stations a license. It is one of the reasons for limiting the power of transmitters. The problems involved are the subject of international agreements. More than just the permission of the California Public Utilities Commission would probably be needed.

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