Solar energy continues to grow smaller and more efficiently, but there are still some basic limitations: solar panels can generate power during the day, and most of the sun it will be baked by the sky when it is lit down. So ESA is working on the idea of collecting solar energy into orbit, where the sun rises up to 11 times more energy than in Europe, and then to be melted down to earth for use.
As part of that effort, a new project is seen in the development of solar-powered satellites, to become the largest building ever built in space. Frazer-Nash Consultancy will study the modular operation of solar-powered satellites, better isolating them as they reach the end of life for reuse or recycling.
Supported by the Discovery element of ESA’s Basic Activities, the project began through ESA’s Open Space Innovation Platform, exploring new promising ideas for space. Find out more about this and new OSIP features here.