News

# Space-based Solar Power Aids Exploration, Tackles Climate Issues

October 20, 2022 by Stephanie Leonida

## NASA, Solestial, and Emrod are among companies exploring space-based solar power generation and transmission to enhance the upcoming return of humans to the moon and address climate change issues.

Companies and organizations worldwide are looking to space to source solar energy to power the energy transition on Earth and continue exploration on the moon. This article will explore the latest industry news concerning solar cell and solar panel technologies and wireless power-beaming technology for space-based solar power (SBSP) applications.

### NASA’s Artemis Program

In a previous article from EE Power, we learned about NASA’s lunar Artemis program for further exploration and habitation on the moon. To provide power to forms of transport (such as the lunar rover) and for areas of habitation, NASA is supporting the development and future deployment of vertical solar arrays. Designed for autonomous deployment, these arrays reach up to 32 feet high. These solar arrays will also be retractable to enable relocation.

The three companies that NASA chose to design, construct, and test the solar array prototypes include:

• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Astrobotic Technology: $6.2 million • Littleton, Colorado-based Lockheed Martin Corporation:$6.2 million

### Achieving Net Zero With Space-based Energy

Wireless power transmission (WPT) conversion efficiency is the ratio of energy output to energy input.

WPT conversion efficiency aims to maximize the amount of energy that can be transferred from a transmitter to a receiver.

Wireless power solutions provider Emrod is working alongside the European Space Agency (ESA) to achieve an appropriate WPT conversion efficiency for power-beaming space-based solar energy to Earth.

Other collaborators who believe in using SBSP to enrich sustainable energy use on Earth and achieve Europe’s Net Zero by 2050 emissions goals include Airbus and Technocarbon.

##### Dr. Ray Simpkin and Dr. Jochem Roelvink test Emrod’s wireless power beaming system. Image used courtesy of Emrod

On September 27, 2022, Emrod demonstrated its wireless power beaming system at Airbus’ site based in Munich, Germany. The demonstration achieved wireless power beaming covering 36 meters at a 5.8-gigahertz frequency. A square phased-array antenna was used for transmission with a receiving antenna of a similar size.

The power-beaming technology forms a part of the foundations of the ESA’s proposed SBSP preparatory program, Solaris. Results of the demonstration will be reported at the upcoming ESA Council at Ministerial Level later in 2022.