22 July 2011

SpaceWork's First Revenue Satellite

 SpaceWorks Commercial posted online a recent Space Solar Power (SSP) economic analysis it presented at the 28th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science (ISTS) in Japan. The analysis focused on what SpaceWorks refers to as the SSP First Revenue Satellite (FRS), an operational demonstrator in the MW class for SSP. 

Charania, A., DePasquale, D., Olds, J. R., "Operational Demonstration of Space Solar Power (SSP): Economic Analysis of a First Revenue Satellite (FRS)," ISTS2011-q-01, 28th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science (ISTS), Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, June 5-12, 2011.



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Niche markets (military installations, developing nation remote power, etc.) may be potential markets where Space Solar Power (SSP) satellites may be economically viable, given certain government support and Earth-to-Orbit launch cost assumptions. An operational demonstrator could be one approach for those markets. This paper examines such a concept, referred to by the authors as the SSP First Revenue Satellite (FRS). The FRS would be a mid-power (1-20 MW of delivered power) space-to-ground demonstrator of SSP. The purpose would be two-fold, prove the end-to-end technical capability and then demonstrate operations over multiple years. The FRS system would be turned over to commercial operators for public/private service. This is deemed to be a more feasible and useful mid-scale demonstration of SSP. This would be a hybrid public-private system consisting of low number of satellite systems. A notional SSP architecture is taken as a case study for this examination. Economic analysis is performed to look at the output prices such a venture would charge based upon various financing options. The objective of this analysis is to determine whether the FRS can be a commercially viable pathway for a SSP demonstrator.

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