SPS Feasability Study SD76SA0239-2

1.3 STUDY RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The most significant conclusion to be drawn from this study is that there appear to be no insurmountable technological, design, operational, or economic barriers which should deter or delay continued investigations into the viability of satellite power systems as a strong contender for future production of electrical energy. If the nominal environmental impacts of microwave radiation are determined to be negligible or well within acceptable limits, and if radio frequency pollution can be effectively circumvented (refer to Sections 6.2 and 6.3), then SPS might well prove to be the most beneficial means of power production. Since pursuit of the technology issues applicable to SPS are directly supportive of other space programs and national interests, it is recommended that a case for continued investigations at an accelerated level could be made. The results of the first study task, Concept Definition (Section 2), support the choice of GaAlAs as a preferred solar cell candidate for photovoltaic systems. Inasmuch as the reference satellite configuration with a concentration ratio of two may represent a more conservative design approach (as opposed to a higher concentration ratio configuration), the weight estimates shown in Table 1.3-1 should inherently contain some margin for weight growth. Other areas where significant weight reductions might be achieved as a result of continued study are the power distribution network and the microwave antenna. Reconfiguration of the satellite to achieve a lower aspect ratio and development of electrical subsystems to handle 40,000 volts de could reduce wiring weights by as much as 50 percent of those shown. Table 1.3-1. Satellite Weight Estimates