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Proceedings Paper

Consideration of the use of origami-style solar panels for use on a terrestrial/orbital wireless power generation and transmission spacecraft
Author(s): Alexander F. Holland; Jens Pearson; Wilson Lysford; Jeremy Straub
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents work on the development of Origami-style solar panels and their adaption and efficacy for use in Earth orbit. It focuses on the enabling capability of this technology for the generation and transmission of power. The proposed approach provides increased collection (solar panel) and transmission (microwave radiation) surface area, as compared to other systems with similar mass and volume. An overview of the system is presented, including its pre-deployment configuration, the deployment process and its final configuration. Its utility for wireless power transmission mission is then considered. An economic discussion is then presented to consider how the mass and volume efficiencies provided enable the system to approach target willingness-to-pay values that were presented and considered in prior work.

A key consideration regarding the use of wireless power transfer in Earth orbit is the reliability of the technology. This has several different areas of consideration. It must reliably supply power to its customers (or they would have to have local generation capabilities sufficient for their needs, defeating the benefit of this system). It must also be shown to reliably supply power only to designated locations (and not inadvertently or otherwise beam power at other locations). The effect of the system design (including the Origami structure and deployment / rigidity mechanisms) is considered to assess whether the use of this technology may impair either of these key mission/safety-critical goals. This analysis is presented and a discussion of mitigation techniques to several prospective problems is presented, before concluding with a discussion of future work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9865, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications VII, 98650E (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2228012
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander F. Holland, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Jens Pearson, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Wilson Lysford, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)
Jeremy Straub, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9865:
Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications VII
Nibir K. Dhar; Achyut K. Dutta, Editor(s)

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