|14 March 2016|


A pioneering proposal by a team of scientists to use space-based solar power technologies for renewable energy has been named the winner of a US innovation challenge.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Diplomacy, Development, and Defense (D3) Innovation Summit Pitch Challenge was won by the team led by Dr Paul Jaffe, spacecraft engineer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).

“The proposed approach entails collection of solar energy, its conversion to microwave energy, and the wireless transmission of the microwaves to the Earth,” said Jaffe. “This offers the benefit of providing base-load power while avoiding diurnal cycles and atmospheric losses often associated with terrestrial solar power.”

“We are extremely excited and honored that this ambitious idea has been selected out of nearly 500 original entries. Other major powers around the world, particularly in Asia, are also investigating this idea in earnest, and it’s gratifying to see interest in it domestically. It’s hard to overstate the significance and benefits of this concept if it comes to fruition.”

A world-class team will now collaborate to test the feasibility of this innovative approach to the challenge of space-based solar power.