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Project etc. Research on the Space Solar Power Systems (SSPS) Comprehensive study on the SSPS

The SSPS Research Team has studied the SSPS comprehensively, with its focus on not only space systems, but also terrestrial systems to increase the conversion efficiency, coordinate the operations of the utility grid, and ensure the safety of the microwaves and lasers used.

Examinations on SSPS development scenarios

The SSPS development scenarios should be formulated through comprehensive examinations from technological, economic, and social perspectives. So far we have formed two committees of outside experts for this purpose: the SSPS Economic Feasibility Committee (formed in FY 2013) and SSPS Technical Committee (formed in FY 2014). We rely on recommendations and advice from these committees in our work to examine the SSPS development scenarios.

A kilometer-scale SSPS of the type described above will take more than several decades to realize. As we move further in our research on such a system, we continue to examine plans for a small SSPS capable of providing immediate research benefits for society, including new applications to aviation and other terrestrial sectors.

An example of a small SSPS using lasers
(applications to inter-orbit energy transfer and planetary exploration missions)

Ground demonstration/On-orbit demonstration

Before an operational SSPS is constructed in space, technological demonstrations should be conducted in both space and on the ground. The SSPS Research Team has been conducting ground demonstrations of technologies for microwave wireless transmission, wireless power transmission by laser, and the assembly of large-scale structures.

The team has been examining approaches for space demonstrations such as the launch of a small satellite aboard the Epsilon rocket or the mounting of an experiment/payload onto the exposed pallet of the Japanese experiment module “Kibo” on the International Space Station.

Immediate practical applications of SSPS technologies

It will take significant time and effort to overcome the many hurdles on the pathway to the realization of the SSPS. As one focal point in its ongoing R&D efforts, the team has also been committed to producing immediate practical applications of technologies developed on its pathway to a full-fledged SSPS, such as wireless power transmission technology applicable to aviation and other terrestrial sectors.