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Gordon Woodcock, Friday, 6-14-13 June 13, 2013

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Gordon Woodcock, Friday, 6-14-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2029-BWB-2013-06-14.mp3

Guest:  Gordon Woodcock.  Topics: Financial analysis for an SSP Power System, competing SSP ideas & plans.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed Gordon Woodcock to the program to discuss his ISDC 2013 financial analysis presentation for an SSP power system.  This presentation is available for your consideration on after the program summary on The Space Show blog for this program per the above URL.  In addition, visit the SolarHigh.Org website for more information at www.solarhigh.org.  In the first segment of our two part 90 minute discussion with Mr. Woodcock, we were introduced to the concept of space solar power from the initial work of Peter Glazer followed by microwave expert Bill Brown.  Mr. Woodcock then discussed the need for large space transmission and Earth based receiving antennas, the need to use GEO for the SSP satellites, and some basics about beaming microwave power.  Economic & financial concepts were introduced along with the need for systems to be affordable, reusable and generate acceptable ROIs.  However, as you will hear, all of this is hard to do at this stage given the need for research and demo systems for proving out the best engineering approaches and designs.  We talked about solar efficiencies and the trade in mass with thin film lighter material with only about a 30% energy efficiency but because of their lighter weight, the trade allows us to launch & deploy bigger systems giving us more bang for the buck, so to speak.  Gordon also talked about efficient transmitter systems & the use of 5.8 GHz.  In this segment we talked about lowering launch costs, increasing the launch rate, and the competitive price for terrestrial electric power.  Earlier in the segment, Gordon  suggested the need for a one year payback but Tony sent in a question suggesting longer paybacks, all of which were acceptable scenarios as long as they were roughly competitive with highly risky terrestrial investments.

In the second segment, we talked about starting with smaller systems & demos, all followed by incremental project development.  We also talked about specific space and terrestrial antenna size and ratios as well as the size of power systems, even up to 2,000 MW or larger.  Mr. Woodcock went over the idea of raising the frequency and what this might mean for a demo as well as an operating power project system.  Questions came in regarding on orbit system repairs and maintenance.  Our guest said the systems would need to be serviced robotically.  We talked about the environment for SSP systems at this time & into the near and medium term & possible fossil fuel competition given new energy extraction methods.  Crowd funding was suggested as a way to fund some of the needed research which our guest said could be done in many competent labs in the U.S.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Gordon Woodcock through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.  Don’t forget, for those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.

SPS briefing for ISDC

Keith Henson, Sunday, 12-2-12 December 3, 2012

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Keith Henson, Sunday, 12-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1905-BWB-2012-12-02.mp3

Guest:  Keith Henson.   Topics SSP using laser rockets to lower the cost of space access.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed Keith Henson to the program to discuss the use of laser powered rockets for launching space powered satellites to help eliminate the use of fossil fuels as well as lower the cost of space access.  To assist in your following our discussion, check out this laser rocket graphic at http://bit.ly/Uj9Vw9.  Also, Keith has several related published articles on the OilDrum blog.  You can download and read his articles at www.theoildrum.com/search/apachesolr_search/keith%20henson. Finally, our guest has permitted me to upload his recent PPT conference presentation to The Space Show blog, “Laser Propulsion and Space Based Solar Power.”  Please be sure to check out this presentation by visiting our blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. During our first segment, Mr. Henson talked about the need for low cost energy and said that by using laser rockets and his SSP ideas, the cost for electrical power generation could be as low as 2 cents/Kwh to GEO.  We spent a good portion of our discussion debating Keith’s assumptions behind the 2 cents/Kwh.  I referenced my costs per my PG&E invoice and other listeners emailed and called in regarding their electrical costs per their utility bills.  Keith has asked for people disagreeing to let him know where he may be going wrong so please post your comments on our blog and Keith will respond. He said several times that he wanted your critique and comments.  Many listeners as well as myself pushed him on his assumptions, wanting more factual information on how arrived at his conclusions.  He has this information pending publication with the British Interplanetary Society so for the moment, its under pre-publication boycott but as soon as Keith clears it, I will post his material on the blog and announce it on air. Later in our initial segment, we talked about the laser rocket being a weapon. This discussion sparked lots of listener participation. We also talked about SSP for insitu use rather than power beaming back to Earth.  Keith brought up the new developments with Reaction Engines out of the UK. Here is there recent press release in case you missed it: www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_updates.html. Listeners did call in to tell Keith that SSP did not make sense for a variety of reasons, including not closing a business case, with or without laser rockets.  Jerry offered such comments as did Charles. Also, without consent, AT&T installed call waiting on the toll free line. I finally figured this out & edited out several of the comments & my complaint.  The matter should be resolved for all toll free calls moving forward but about 1hr 30 minutes into the program, you will hear a rough edit where I removed the call waiting rants.
     In the second segment, we continued debating Keith’s costs plus his ROI assumptions. Fusion came up for discussion as well as already existent successful powered sat beamed energy back to Earth.  Toward the end of our program, Keith talked about his target of reducing dollars per gasoline by using laser rockets and SSP.
      Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Keith can be emailed at hkeithhensonATgmailDOTcom.
Laser Rockets & SSP
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