Menu

Blog

Oct 31, 2022

Beaming Clean Energy From Space — Caltech’s “Extraordinary and Unprecedented Project”

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy was once considered science fiction. Now it is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed. They could even send it to places that currently have no access to reliable power.

“This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project,” says Harry Atwater, an SSPP researcher and Otis Booth Leadership Chair of Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. “It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world.”

Atwater, who is also the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, leads the project jointly with two other researchers: Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and co-director of SSPP; and Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aerospace and Civil Engineering, co-director of SSPP, and a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL.

Leave a reply