1992-08-03

An Analysis of Power Beaming for the Moon and Mars 929436

Operations on the surface of the Moon and Mars will depend on a reliable source of electrical power. At NASA Lewis Research Center, the feasibility of powering lunar and martian surface sites by power beaming was studied. Constellations of nuclear or solar powered satellites using microwave or laser transmitters were designed to power an equatorial surface base. Additional surface assets, such as rovers, can also be powered from the same orbiting satellites, requiring only the additional mass of a receiver. However, the actual mass and power capabilities of the system are dependent on the location of the surface receiver. The masses of the beam power systems can be reduced by up to 50%, by using the power source of an electric propulsion vehicle to power the beam system. This paper discusses the important analyses results, and any additional issues that remain unresolved.

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