Using small solar satellites that beam power to Earth has recently become a popular idea. Various groups have shown an interest, including the military for remote expeditions and governments that can use it for disaster relief and even remote desalination plants.
Stephen Sweeney and his colleagues from the University of Surrey, in England, will test a fiber laser in Germany. Using a wavelength of 1.5 microns, it will be within the infra-red part of the spectrum. The goal of the project is to test the effects of atmospheric pollutants and water vapor on the beam. Read the full story from The Economist.
If the test goes well, Europe’s largest space company, EADS Astrium, is interested in flying a space-based demonstration within five years. Read the full story from BBC News.