Optical Components for Space-Based Solar Plant Lighting -Development and Evaluation of Key Components 2002-01-2553
In this paper we discuss the results of theoretical and experimental study of key components of the optical waveguide (OW) solar plant lighting system. In this system, solar radiation is collected by the concentrator which transfers the concentrated solar radiation to the OW transmission line consisting of low-loss optical fibers. The OW line transmits the solar radiation to the selective beam splitter where the solar spectra is divided into two components: plant lighting spectra (400 nm < λ < 700 nm) and power generation spectra (λ > 700 nm). The plant lighting spectra are transmitted to the plant growth chamber where the solar radiation from the optical fibers is de-focused for optimum intensity for plant growing. The power generation spectra are transmitted to the photovoltaic (PV) power generator for power generation. The topics discussed in this paper include: thermal testing of the optical fiber cable in the simulated space environment; fusion splicing of optical fibers; and performance of the liquid lightguide.