Optical Waveguide Solar Lighting System for Space-based Plant Growing (7154-120)
94-1 12.03 0003
Optical Waveguide Solar Lighting System for Space-based Plant
We propose to develop an optical waveguide (OW) solar lighting
system for space-based plant growing. In this system solar
radiation is collected by the concentrator which transfers the
concentrated solar radiation to the OW transmission line consisting
of low-loss optical fibers and related optical components. The OW
line transmits the concentrated solar radiation to the plant
growing units located in the space-based plant growing facility.
The feature of the proposed system are: (1) Highly concentrated
solar radiation can be transmitted via flexible, light weight OW
lines directly into the space-based plant growing units; (2) Solar
radiation intensity or spectra can be tailored to specific plant
growing process; (3) Solar power can be switched to different plant
growing unit or other solar energy utilization device as necessary;
and (4) The system can be modularized and can be easily transported
to and deployed in space.
The proposed program calls for: design and fabrication of a
laboratory scale OW solar lighting system; conduct performance
evaluation tests in a laboratory plant growth chamber; and develop
a conceptual design of the solar lighting system for space-based
plant growing, and identify key technology issues for development.
The OW solar lighting system can be applied to a variety of plant
growing processes or material processing steps that require thermal
energy. Potential terrestrial application of the proposed system
includes underground or undersea plant growing. Another example of
commercial application of the proposed technology is solar lighting
for business offices and residential housing.
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077