Munich, Germany-based startup Emrod has demonstrated the power-beaming technology it proposes to use for space-based solar power applications with the ESA and Airbus.
ESA and Airbus believe that commercial Space-Based Solar Power, using satellites to capture solar energy in space where it is plentiful 24/7 and beaming it wirelessly to the ground, could support the transition to sustainable energy and meet Europe’s goals for Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Held at Airbus’ Munich Area Site, Emrod’s indoor demonstration system wirelessly beamed power over 36m at a frequency of 5.8GHz, using a square phased-array transmitting antenna of 1.92m in diameter and a similarly sized receiving antenna.
While the concept of space-based solar power uses existing technological principles, one of the challenges to date has been how to cost effectively deliver the energy generated in space to earth for use. Emrod’s solution could overcome this challenge, helping ESA to achieve a necessary level of wireless power transmission conversion efficiency.
Torben Henriksen, ESA’s acting director of technology, engineering and quality said, “Space-based solar power has the potential to be a significant contributor to the balanced portfolio of clean energy solutions that will be needed to meet the EU’s and ESA Member State’s Net Zero 2050 goals.
“We are delighted to work with Emrod to showcase wireless power transmission as an emerging technology with the potential to solve sustainability challenges in the energy and space sector.”
As the first European demonstration of long-range wireless energy transmission for space-based solar power applications, this event underpins ESA’s proposed Space-Based Solar Power preparatory programme, called SOLARIS. The results will be presented at the next ESA Council at Ministerial Level in November 2022.
Greg Kushnir, founder and CEO of Emrod said, “We are excited to contribute to the commercialisation of power beaming technology for space-based energy infrastructure in collaboration with ESA and Airbus.”
“Today’s demonstration takes us closer to our goal of commercializing long range power transmission. I expect to soon announce details of our next terrestrial use case demonstration and we continue to develop plans for in-orbit testing of space-based infrastructure.”
Emrod received funding from Airbus Defense and Space to provide the power beaming technology for the demonstration.