Satellite Power System (SPS) White Paper on Mapping of Exclusion Areas for Rectenna Sites


This report sets forth the results of study by Rice University to determine those areas of the United States that were not available as potential sites for receiving antennas that are an integral part of the Satellite Power System (SPS) concept. Under the current SPS program, 60 satellite-rectenna pairs would be developed. Each pair would produce 5 gigawatts of power and the rectenna would require the dedication of approximately 50,000 acres of land per site. Therefore, 60 sites of 50,000 acres each, totalling approximately 3 million acres, will be required. This study's approach to finding where, or even if, 60 such sites existed was to determine those areas of the United States where the rectenna could not be sited. 36 variables with the potential to exclude the rectenna were mapped and coded into the Rice University Computer System. Some of these variables absolutely exclude a rectenna from locating within the area of its spatial influence, and other variables potentially exclude the rectenna. These maps of variables were assembled from existing data and were mapped on a grid system of the United States. Each grid square was 26 km on a side. The analysis of the information was completed by utilizing overlay or sieve analysis. Under this approach, variables were laid over other variables and the composite of this union of variables would represent areas where the rectenna could not be located. This report shows, in Section IV, 11 summary maps that indicate the land areas excluded as rectenna sites under various combinations of variables. The areas in "white" are not excluded as sites and are considered as "eligible" areas. It is important to note that the only interpretation to be given to these eligible areas is that they were not ruled out as sites. The areas should be studied in more detail to determine where rectennas could be located within these subset areas. These various summary maps go from being less rectrictive to being more restrictive with respect to sites. Under Summary Map 1, approximately 50% of the United States was excluded as potential sites, with Summary Map 8 excluding 73% of the United States and with Summary Map 9 excluding 83%. Each summary map is accompanied by a detailed statistical analysis which describes the "eligible" areas on a state by state basis with respect to other variables not directly utilized in the creation of the summary maps. Due to the complex nature of siting studies such as this, the Rice University team feels that this report is certainly not definitive with respect to siting. However, the methodology utilized appears appropriate to the problem of siting. Future work will be required prior ro definitive sites being identified, and a major attempt should be made to coordinate additional work with existing Federal governmental data management systems.


112 pages


satellite power system, rectenna, receiving antenna, power facility siting, satellite power generation