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US Air Force Hopes to Collect Solar Energy in Space, Beam It to Earth

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is working on harvesting solar energy in space and beaming it back to Earth to address the energy demand of its military personnel deployed at remote bases. The project, named the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research Project (SSPIDR), will allow solar energy to be harvested and beamed back to the Earth via an outpost, irrespective of the latitude, longitude, climate, time, and other factors. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) shared a video on YouTube explaining how the project could one day revolutionize energy use on Earth for military personnel and one day, civilians. An Arachne satellite would be used to collect and convert solar energy to radio frequency, which would then be beamed to a receiving station on Earth. The receiving antenna, called a rectifying antenna or “rectenna,” would convert the radio frequency into usable power for the end user. That …

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