Online Journal of Space Communication


Successful development of space solar power would provide vast quantities of clean electrical energy for the next few billion years. Such a prize is worth considerable effort and risk. However, the technical difficulties and the huge scale of proposed systems, requiring enormous up front costs and long development times, have prevented SSP from making much progress.

If a way could be found to field a small SSP system profitably, even if limited to niche markets, operational progress could be made with relatively small investments over short time scales. This visualization explores the concept of a “thin-film heliogyro” – a solar sail - as a lower cost approach to producing energy in space and transmitting it to earth as an infrared (IR) power beam.

Advisors: Al Globus, Tyler Ayres, John Bowditch

Solar Sails: Towards an Early Profitable PowerSat from Space Communication Journal on Vimeo.



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