Get A Free Solar Quote
Longhorn is a Certified Solar Installer

SPS-ALPHA: Capturing Solar Energy in Space

Green energy remains a hot topic of debate in our nation’s capital, but one of NASA’s former engineers has come up with his own resolution to the debate. John Mankins, former head of NASA’s Advanced Concepts Studies, proposes that solar energy be captured in space by utilizing a special network of what he calls, “intelligent mirrors” and then transferred back to Earth.

SPS-ALPHA: Capturing Solar Energy in Space - Longhorn SolarThe idea of solar power in space has been in existence for many years and now John Mankins, currently the President of Artemis Innovations says that we are advanced enough in technology and space travel to make this idea a reality.

Mankins’ proposal, called SPS-ALPHA (Solar Power Satellite-via Arbitrarily Large Phased Array), would be made of thousands of highly intelligent computers that work in unison to capture the sun’s rays and turn them into green energy that can be used to heat and light up the planet.

SPS-ALPHA’s architecture can be likened to “ …a hive of bees or an ant colony,” says Mankins. The system will be comprised of a very large number of modules that are assembled to form a single enormous satellite. These satellites would work by collecting energy from the sun through thin-film mirrors, individually pointed in specific directions. That energy would then be transferred to earth via a microwave beam.

The SPS-ALPHA is a project that can be easily implemented with just a few innovations. If all goes smoothly, within 15 years the project could be fully developed. Mankins doesn’t foresee that SPS-ALPHA will be used to replace all of our current energy resources, but instead sees it as a complimentary source of energy to be used in emergencies and natural disasters.

Mankins also sees SPS-ALPHA as a great energy resource for remote regions of the Earth, such as secluded islands or any other areas that are geographically isolated. Energy, even in such familiar places as Belize can be extremely expensive, sometimes two to three times the price of energy in the United States.

Mankins shares that with the implementation of the SPS-ALPHA project, we can deliver solar energy directly to these remote areas, not only solving an energy problem, but an economic one as well.