The Spaceward Foundaton has announced that TRUMPF Laser will be supporting the Space Elevator teams in the upcoming 2008 Space Elevator Power Beaming competition. The company will provide a TruDisk 8002 laser for use by participating teams, including on-site operation and full safety and engineering support.
For power beaming applications, the beam is expanded over a large area so that its intensity is reduced by several orders of magnitude. The beam is then redirected at a photovoltaic panel similar to solar panels used on rooftops as a clean electrical energy source.
Building on the results of the 2007 Space Elevator Power Beaming Challenge, the goals of the 2008 challenge have been set at 1 km height, 5 m/s minimum speed, for a frize level of $2 million. An intermediate prize level of $900k is sest for a speed of 2 m/s. Teams that can reach an altitude of 1 km at between 1 and 2 m/s will be awarded a prize of up to $50k.
Illustrations of the 1 km challenge over two hypothetical sites are shown at www.spaceward.org/elevator2010-pb.html, showing the challenge as it would look if held over Meteor Crater in Arizona, and if held over the 2007 venue. The latest revision of the competition handbook as well as a registration link are also available there.
"Power beaming is about transferring power through light beams, and TRUMPF's know-how allows it to take a leading role in these games," says TRUMPF vice president of laser technology Holger Schlueter. He adds, "Including myself, many of us here at TRUMPF have never lost our excitement about space exploration, and my organization is thrilled to help shape the future of space travel."
"We could not have asked for a better contributor," says Ben Shelef, CEO of the Spaceward Foundation. "With a 1km beam power demonstration, we will have taken the Space Elevator competition to the next level." Other companies interested in becoming a sponsor should contact Shelef directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Space Elevator is a revolutionary Earth-to-Space transportation system proposed in 1960 by Yuri Artsutanov and enhanced in 2000 by Dr. Bradley Edwards, then at Los Alamos National Labs. The system comprises a stationary cable rotating in unison with the Earth, with one end anchored to the surface of the planet and the other end in space. Electric cars then travel up and down the cable, carrying cargo and people.