Scientists working for the Pentagon, located in the United States, managed to successfully test a solar panel in space, showing the viability of a system deployed outside of our atmosphere that would send electricity back to Earth.
“The unique advantage the solar power satellites have over any other source of power is this global transmissibility,” says Paul Jaffe, a co-developer of the project. “You can send power to Chicago and a fraction of a second later, if you needed, send it instead to London or Brasilia.”
The pizza box size panel, known as a Photovoltaic Radiofrequency Antenna Module, was fixed to an unmanned drone, and circled the planet every 90 minutes, harnessing light from the sun to convert it to electricity. Ultimately, the project is to have dozens of panels that could revolutionize the way we generate and distribute power, sending electricity from space to wherever on the planet there is a receiver. This technology could even become handy in natural disasters where normal infrastructure collapses.