17 May 2016 Powering an in-space 3D printer using solar light energy
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Abstract
This paper describes how a solar power source can enable in-space 3D printing without requiring conversion to electric power and back. A design for an in-space 3D printer is presented, with a particular focus on the power generation system. Then, key benefits are presented and evaluated. Specifically, the approach facilitates the design of a spacecraft that can be built, launched, and operated at very low cost levels. The proposed approach also facilitates easy configuration of the amount of energy that is supplied. Finally, it facilitates easier disposal by removing the heavy metals and radioactive materials required for a nuclear-power solution.
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Skye Leake, Skye Leake, Thomas McGuire, Thomas McGuire, Michael Parsons, Michael Parsons, Michael P. Hirsch, Michael P. Hirsch, Jeremy Straub, Jeremy Straub, } "Powering an in-space 3D printer using solar light energy", Proc. SPIE 9865, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications VII, 98650B (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223454; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223454
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