When it comes to innovation, of course the US military is always in the forefront. And in its quest for source of electricity that is totally independent of fuel, it is considering an ‘out of earth’ solar power military.
The buzz about a space-bound solar power for military use has been around since 2007 and the US military doesn’t deny it. In fact, the project has gained the approval of the Pentagon, with an estimated 10 year plan and $10 billion funding to beam down 10 megawatts of electric power down to earth.
How would this space-bound solar power for military work?
The solar ‘satellites’ are envisioned to have kilometer-wide solar panel arrays and will float on space to gather power from the sun 24/7. It will then beam down electric power in a form of microwaves or laser to a power-collecting hub on earth that converts the energy into consumable electricity.
Advantages of space-bound solar panels
The military has been using solar energy in and out of the battlefield. Solar energy cuts the cost, lessens reliance to fuel and lightens the load of officers and soldiers when in a tactical mission.
Although the military has been using commercial-grade solar panels and portable solar power for years, it believes that these ‘earth bound’ solar panels have their limitations. When it gets cloudy, the amount of energy that these solar panels stores would be limited; and when it’s night, no energy could be stored at all.
However, with the proposed space-bound solar power, the military would have access to sun’s rays day and night, sunny or cloudy, storm or no storm. Anytime there would be a need for electricity the military would get it. In fact, not just anytime, but anywhere.
Theoretically, with the proposed solar power military technology, whenever a group of US military officers and soldiers are in need of power, they can anytime generate more than enough electricity that they need with the help of equipment that could receive beams of electric power from the space-bound solar panels.
Also, fuel-powered generators aren’t just the sole source of power whenever blackout happens.
Can we use it?
There are many technologies that only the military (or special agencies in the government) enjoys that eventually became an integral part of regular household. Take the case of the internet, for example. Before, only federal researchers and the US Department of Defense got to experience the intricate and inter-connecting virtual world of web. More than two decades after, the internet was introduced for commercial use, of which at this point is being enjoyed by every household around the world.
In time, when space-bound solar power military technology has been created, perfected and calibrated for commercial use, the earth might not anymore be in need of fossil or fuel-based energy to get electrical power from. Even without solar panels on roof, every home can enjoy unlimited supply of power, day in, day out. And when this time comes, there would be no more fumes, oil-spills or contaminants that would pollute the earth and no more oil or fossil-based fuels for countries to fight over for.