Dr. David Hyland focus his research on space based microwave solar power and asteroid mitigation and optical technologies. Over the past several years he has attributed a wealth of new knowledge and ideas into these areas.
His most recent work on space based solar power is a new technology called Power Star. This technology uses and molds previous inventions like NASA’s Echo satellites with an all new idea, that is of “collectennas” which collect energy from the sun and amplifies the microwave radiation from an ground beacon to send back a powerful waveform to be used as energy on the ground.
The collectennas are made of miniature transceivers and solar panels, which are to be printed as a patch antenna into a flexible fabric. This fabric can be launched in a stowed configuration to later unfold into a sphere with a predefined orbit. The spherical satellite has no moving parts and due to its shape can collect and beam power from any direction to any facing side of Earth. Power Star is in the development phase and Dr. Hyland is working hard to ensure the various technologies at play can be merged successfully and launched for a demonstration.
Another important project by Dr. Hyland and his students involve changing the albedo of an asteroid to increase the Yarkosky Effect and deflect is orbit more efficiently. This project, called Asteroid Deflection via Albedo Change consists of a spacecraft that has a tribocharging spray nozzle. This spray nozzle carries albedo changing particles which coat the surface of an asteroid when the spacecraft is near it. The coating of the asteroid increases or decreases its albedo (depending on the desired orbital deflection) and therefore the asteroid will slowly change its orbit. A near-Earth asteroid can be deflected away from Earth collision in this, taking advantage of the Sun’s energy and without the need of other expensive and complex potential technologies being assessed right now.
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