1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

applicable to the SPS Societal Assessment. Among the socioeconomic considerations addressed were land use, demography, government/social services, economic impact, and cultural resources. The Rose Valley/Coso area (see Exhibit 3) was selected for this prototype study, because it has many characteristics suitable for an SPS rectenna site. It offers reasonably suitable terrain, and it is located in a sparsely populated rural area not far from a major electrical load center. In general, the area is typical of physical, natural and socioeconomic conditions throughout the Basin and Range Physiographic Province, which encompasses much of the southwestern United States. It should be noted, however, that selection of the study site is not the result of SPS program screening efforts. In fact, Rose Valley has some serious drawbacks as a potential rectenna site. For example, it is partly within the boundaries of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center, a critical defense facility. This would make it difficult to obtain the site for SPS use and would pose communications interference problems. For this study, these incompatible features were ignored, and the assessment proceeded as if the site were, in fact, totally suitable for an SPS rectenna. Foremost among the critical parameters revealed in this prototype as- sessment is the size—roughly 150 km —and intensivity of use of the contiguous land area required by an SPS rectenna. The land area required would be an ellipse with a length of 13.4 km north-south and a width of 10.0 km eastwest (36° N latitude). Surrounding the rectenna field would be a fenced buffer zone to prevent people and animals from inadvertently entering the low- intensity fringes of the microwave beam. Preparation of the land area would require total modification of the environment. Further, once the coordinates of the rectenna field boundaries are established, there is essentially no flexibility in siting individual rectenna structures to avoid specific sensitive areas (e.g., an important archaeological site). The inflexibility of rectenna land-use requirements suggests that SPS site selection activities should focus on identifying sites that are larger than the minimum rectenna requirements. A larger site would preserve a measure of flexibility in rectenna field placement that would be unavailable in a site of barely sufficient size.