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Wireless Power Transfer in the wild

Building hardware is hard, which is why our team is dedicated to being rich in hardware. Iteration is key to rapid development of new products - design, build, break is a loop we will do many times. Wireless power transfer is no exception.

There are many technologies inherent in building the world's first commercial space based solar power system. Although wireless technologies have been around for a long time, commercial wireless power transfer is an emerging technology and we needed to get hands-on knowledge on the subject. For this reason our first wireless power transfer test was designed, built and tested in just six weeks from kick-off and was completed just before the holidays in December 2021.

In the course of this test, we successfully pushed power across a gap for the first time in our laboratory. The components we designed performed better than expected, but several off-the-shelf components did not - but the overall system met our goals and we learned a lot. The next design will move five times and much power at five times the distance, at four times the base frequency. This is how you approach technology development - first make it work, then make it reliable, then drive the cost down. I learned this process in high volume, complex mechanism manufacturing and we are applying it to the so far intractable problem of space solar power systems.

We will have another wireless power demonstration in the next months - so stay tuned.

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