A new concept of solar power satellite: Tethered-SPS

Susumu Sasaki*, Koji Tanaka, Ken Higuchi, Nobukatsu Okuizumi, Shigeo Kawasaki, Naoki Shinohara, Kei Senda, Kousei Ishimura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)


Tethered solar power satellite (Tethered-SPS) consisting of a large panel with a capability of power generation/transmission and a bus system which are connected by multi-wires is proposed as an innovative solar power satellite (SPS). The power generation/transmission panel is composed of a huge number of perfectly equivalent power modules. The electric power generated by the solar cells at the surface of each module is converted to the microwave power in the same module. Since the modules are controlled by the bus system using wireless LAN, no wired signal/power interfaces are required between the modules. The attitude in which the microwave transmission antenna is directed to the ground is maintained by the gravity gradient force. The tethered panel is composed of individual tethered subpanels which are loosely connected to each other. This configuration enables an evolutional construction in which the function of the SPS grows as the construction proceeds. A scale model of the tethered subpanel can be used for the first step demonstration experiment of the SPS in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Microwave power transmission
  • Solar power satellite
  • Space tether

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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