5. BEAM IT DOWN: HOW THE NEW SATELLITES CAN POWER THE WORLD
Interesting article on a new approach to power satellites.
"The new communications satellites will orbit at an altitude of only a few hundred miles. Instead of hovering above a spot on the equator, low-orbiting satellites zip around the globe in as little as 90 minutes, tracing paths that oscillate about the equator, rising and dipping as many as 86 degrees of latitude. Because they are closer to the earth's surface, the solar collectors on the satellite can be a few hundred meters across rather than 10 kilometers. And because the microwave beams they generate would spread out much less than those from geosynchronous satellites, the ground rectennas could be correspondingly smaller and less expensive as well. By piggybacking onto these fleets of communications satellites--and taking advantage of their microwave transmitters and receivers, ground stations, and control systems--solar power technology can become economically viable."