The Naval Research Laboratory has fielded a solar power satellite hardware aboard the U.S. Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle in efforts to study the conversion of solar energy from space.
The Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module employs a solar panel to absorb energy and convert it into radio frequency microwaves, the U.S. Navy said Monday.
A research team will utilize the platform's energy production and temperature data to help inform the design of potential solar prototypes. NRL will also assess PRAM's operability in varying space conditions.
The laboratory seeks to develop a platform that will assess the transmission of energy to Earth aboard a spacecraft through the project.
The National Security Space Office published a feasibility study in 2007 that advises the exploration of solar power satellite technologies.