Companies like Starlink have proven that fast Internet can now reach us via space. But now researchers want to take the next big step. They are currently working on electricity, which is to be transmitted wirelessly via satellite to us inhabitants of the earth. A first test was now successfully completed.
Electricity via microwaves
In the context of a practical test US researchers could not send naturally yet a wireless current from orbit to earth. However, they are currently at a turning point in their development. After all, they managed to send electricity with a power of 1.6 kilowatts over a distance of one kilometer. The scientists responsible at the U.S.-based Naval Research Laboratory relied on microwave radiation for their test. At a site in Maryland specially designated for the test, they unceremoniously transmitted the power from one point to another – all wirelessly. This milestone in the history of technology should be able to serve military purposes in particular. But as with satellite Internet, sooner or later it could also be used for the general population.
Power beaming even in remote areas
So-called “power beaming” refers to the wireless transmission of electricity. The purpose of this technology becomes particularly clear when one takes a closer look at the power supply in more remote areas of the world. This is particularly advantageous for military purposes, which is why it is the U.S. Department of Defense that is spearheading the project. With the help of this technology, the military could become independent of local power supplies. In addition, the effects of attacks on the fuel supply could be prevented.
Green power from space?
But “satellite power” could also prove beneficial from an environmental perspective. In particular, a combination of solar panels on the satellite itself and a power transmitter via microwaves could revolutionize the field of green power. The big advantage over conventional solar farms on Earth is that in space the sun always shines. The scientists responsible are very convinced of the success of their system. This becomes particularly clear when one takes a look at the current density that was achieved during the test setup. According to the Naval Research Laboratory, this is in line with worldwide standards. The researchers can also already rule out dangers to living creatures.
Power supply independent of weather
Of course, the question still remains as to what extent the weather could throw a spanner in the technology’s works. According to the researchers, microwave technology relies on 10-gigahertz transmission. According to the institute, choosing a higher frequency would have a negative impact on the amount of power that could be transmitted wirelessly. The situation is different in bad weather conditions. The scientists responsible say, for example, that rainy weather would not even mean a five percent loss.