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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: J. H. Eberly
  • Vol. 8, Iss. 10 — May. 7, 2001
  • pp: 537–546

Safe delivery of optical power from space

Matthew H. Smith, Richard L. Fork, and Spencer T. Cole  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 8, Issue 10, pp. 537-546 (2001)

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More than a billion gigawatts of sunlight pass through the area extending from Earth out to geostationary orbit. A small fraction of this clean renewable power appears more than adequate to satisfy the projected needs of Earth, and of human exploration and development of space far into the future. Recent studies suggest safe and efficient access to this power can be achieved within 10 to 40 years. Light, enhanced in spatial and temporal coherence, as compared to natural sunlight, offers a means, and probably the only practical means, of usefully transmitting this power to Earth. We describe safety standards for satellite constellations and Earth based sites designed, respectively, to transmit, and receive this power. The spectral properties, number of satellites, and angle subtended at Earth that are required for safe delivery are identified and discussed.

© Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(350.0350) Other areas of optics : Other areas of optics

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: March 5, 2001
Published: May 7, 2001

Matthew Smith, Richard L. Fork, and Spencer Cole, "Safe delivery of optical power from space," Opt. Express 8, 537-546 (2001)

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