They Invented What? (No. 85)
U.S. Pat. No. 5,260,639: Method for remotely powering a device such as a lunar rover.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of supplying power to a device located on the surface of a planet, comprising the steps of:
orbiting at least one satellite around the planet, wherein the satellite comprises a nuclear reactor for generating electrical power;
generating electrical power via the nuclear reactor;
converting the generated electrical power into a GaAlAs laser beam;
directing the GaAlAs laser beam from the at least one satellite to the device; and
converting the power of the GaAlAs laser beam into electrical power for use by the device, said converting step comprising directing the GaAlAs laser beam through a layer of n-GaAlAs semiconductor, through a layer of p-GaAlAs semiconductor, and then through a layer of p-GaAs semiconductor, whereby an electric current is generated.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein said orbiting step comprises orbiting three satellites having respective nuclear power sources such that at least one of the satellites is always in position to direct a laser beam to the device.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the laser beam is passed through a plurality of amplifying arrays prior to said directing step.
4. The method according to claim 1, further comprising the step of cooling the semiconductor layers when the electrical power is generated.
5. The method according to claim 4, wherein said cooling step comprises cycling a coolant fluid past the semiconductor layers, compressing the fluid, passing the fluid through a radiator, and directing the fluid through an expansion valve.
6. The method according to claim 1, further comprising gathering the directed laser beam to a focused area.