Online Journal of Space Communication


HelioAstra is a creative design and visualization of an advanced Space Solar Power system. Its concept is validated by a credible science and engineering approach and an innovative business plan.

The space and ground receiving segments are made up of high efficiency Fresnel lens concentrator quantum dot solar cells. The solar array in space is sized at 933 m2. It delivers 1 MW (1000 kW) of perennial, clean and eco-friendly solar electric power at the bus-bars on the ground.

A solid state laser system containing Neodymium doped Yttrium Aluminium garnet (Nd: Y3Al5O12) will accurately and efficiently transmit power. A ground receiving station with 70m diameter rectifying antenna will collect the power delivered in the form of a laser signal and energize the Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) Desalination plant located in the Bay of Bengal near the Indian costal metropolitan city of Vishakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Two Ku band transponders with uplink signal - of intelligent design – will continuously track the HelioAstra SunSat and respond as per Motion Control Facility (MCF) instructions. Being placed in Geostationary orbit helps the satellite maintain a fixed beam footprint on the earth’s surface around the clock.

An innovative marketing strategy will enable value addition by a factor of 80 times based on the sale of solar electric power delivered from the HelioAstra solar power spacecraft and sale of 1.734 million litres/day (MLD) of fresh water produced by an SWRO desalination plant.

The HelioAstra SSP System Efficiency Chain and the integrated HelioAstra–Aqua (SSP-SWRO) overall System, Mission Efficiency and Performance Chains are presented using open-source published values of component efficiencies.

The cost of space segment and ground segment (including ground power receiver and salt water reverse osmosis plant) and annual revenue flow are estimated based on a sensitivity analysis on Excel spread sheet. Revenue value-addition by use of SWRO for production and sale of fresh water and use of the advanced Falcon 9 (Reusable) space launch vehicle are required to enable acceptable system specific costs within a mission-investment payback period of 7 years.

Advisors: Mr. Joseph Bland, Air Cmde R Gopalaswami [Retd], Dr. MYS Prasad, Sri Somana Vishwanatham

Click here to view the Team video: Team HelioAstra - 2014 International SunSat Design Competition Visualization



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