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Guest: Dr. Paul Jaffe; Topics: Space Solar Power analysis, technology, usage, power beaming and much more.
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We welcomed Dr. Paul Jaffe of the Naval Research Lab (NRL) to the program for an in-depth and comprehensive discussion regarding Space Solar Power. Our program was over two segments and 98 minutes in length with multiple listener phone calls and emails. Our discussion was both detailed and technical plus chocked full of good information. Thus, to properly summarize this show I will simply reference our many topics and callers. That said, you need to listen to this entire interview to get the most out of what Dr. Jaffe has shared with u.
Dr. Jaffe started our two segment 98 minute discussion with an introduction to the Space Solar Power topic along with the part played in all of this both historically and now in the present by the Naval Research Lab (NRL). This introduction, which spanned a good part of the first segment, was pivotal for the balance of our discussion. Topics covered including microwave beaming and why, DOD issues and priorities, the D3 Innovative Challenge. To help you with the history, do a Google search for "Dr. Paul Jaffe SSP video" and you will find multiple videos and sites to aid in understanding his work, the SSP concept, what has been done, what is being done, and the technology involved.
Some topics discussed included the safe beaming of power with microwaves but also laser beaming, optical beaming characteristics, SSP as a national priority concerns, China SSP timelines and concerns, advanced technology challenges, current TL's, military priorities as compared to commercial priorities, SSP cost assumptions ranging from launch costs to materials and software costs, plus labor consisting of human and/or robotic. Many listener emails introduced us to additional topics. For example, would SSP be vulnerable to an EMP? Also, just how robust does SSP hardware and software have to be and at what cost?
Marshall called to talk about possible SSP GEO sat interference with all the LEO commercial and national sats emerging in the industry. This brought up spectrum allocation, frequency issues, the FCC and the ITU. At one point a listener asked our guest if it was too early to be working on spectrum allocation to which he answered no. Another discussion topic focused on transitioning military SSP interests to commercial interests. Don't miss what Dr. Jaffe said in response to these inquiries along with the work in this area by the NRL.
Freemont John called to focus in on SSP economics for the O'Neilian platforms and space settlement. Don't miss what Dr. Jaffe said in response to John's multiple questions. One such question brought up China and their SSP timeline. He asked our guest if we should be concerned about China. As was said earlier in this summary, the answer was to be concerned. This topic came up later near the end of the show with a listener email using Covid-19 as a point of comparison with China. Before the break, Dr. Jaffe put our NRL contact info and his Twitter information. He also suggested another YouTube video, "Lectenna." Just Google Lectenna and you will find lots more information and many videos pertaining to what he was talking about.
In the second segment, an example of going from a military priorities to the commercial sector was GPS. Rick sent in an email asking about power capture technology. Ft. Worth John called to inquire about SSP efficiency. Here, our guest talked about efficiency and explained why it might not be the best way to measure the value of SSP. Paul also talked about historical power beaming examples and technology that are still relevant today.
Later, an email listener asked Paul about environmental risks of SPP. Freemont John made an inquiry about spectrum allocation as discussed earlier in the program. Next, Elisa called to talk with our guest about the LECtenna demo using boba straws. Here is her video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am1N05Q7Nrc. After the program ended, she sent in additional information which I have posted on the blog. This call was followed by an email form George inquiring about presidential science advisors. I then asked our guest about lunar based SSP as promoted by the late Dr. David Criswell. The subject of personal SSP usage came up. Don't miss what Paul said about this idea.
As our program was nearing the end, more was brought up about SSP economics and technology plus the need for important technology upgrades. Dr. Jaffe summarized the program and mentioned that there might be more news on SSP coming out later this year.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. Dr. Jaffe provided contact and Twitter information during this program. He can be contacted through the NRL or through me.