The U.S. Air Force is researching orbital solar power systems
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — The U.S. Air Force wants a space system to generate solar energy and then beams it to forward operating bases.
The U.S. Air Force wants to develop a system that generates solar energy in space, converts it to radio frequencies, and then beams it to forward operating bases."
Colonel Eric Felt told Stars and Stripes, "Energy is a strategic enabler and potential vulnerability for our nation."
Remote outposts that rely on fuel for energy need to be supplied by convoys and protective escorts, which the enemy could target.
The air force states that harnessing solar energy in space offers advantages such as providing power around the clock in all weather conditions.
The project developers also said another application of the system is to supply energy to remote communities.
According to Stars and Stripes, the system is envisioned as a constellation of satellites with ten thousand square meters of solar panels.
The solar energy system would steer its beams at specific locations electrically, rather than having to turn mechanical arrays.