Researchers from Xidian University, Xi'an, China, announced the successful completion of testing a ground station designed to receive energy extracted from space and converted into microwave energy. This station is a 75-meter structure equipped with five different subsystems designed to capture and convert the received radiation energy into electricity.
The idea of extracting energy in space belongs to the scientist Peter Glaser. Special satellites, equipped with huge solar panels or collectors of other types, constantly absorb photons of sunlight and, through several transformations of the extracted energy, radiate this energy towards the Earth in the form of microwave radiation. This approach is considered very promising, because the satellite will always be in the zone of direct sunlight, there is no cloudy weather in space, and the energy of the sun's rays is not dissipated when passing through the planet's atmosphere.
The receiving station built in Xian is part of the Chinese space solar energy project OMEGA (Orb-Shape Membrane Energy Gathering Array), launched back in 2014. It should be noted that within the framework of this project, Chinese researchers have previously managed to implement the technology of wireless power transmission, however, so far for a short distance, only 55 meters. Some of the principles developed then formed the basis for the design of the new receiving station. Moreover, the construction and testing of this station was carried out three years ahead of the main schedule of the OMEGA project.
However, Chinese researchers acknowledge that the full realization of the project's goals is in the distant future. However, the construction of a receiving station is in itself a significant step towards a more stable future in which humanity will be less dependent on fossil fuels.