CASSIOPeiA power-beaming satellite.
Credit: Ian Cash/Chris Moore


A new Solar Power Satellite (SPS) concept has been advocated and dubbed CASSIOPeiA, short for Constant Aperture, Solid-State, Integrated, Orbital Phased Array).

This SPS design has no rotating (or otherwise moving) parts, yet maintains a constant solar collecting area directly facing the Sun while its retrodirective microwave beam is steered to an Earth-based rectifying antenna.

CASSIOPeiA power-beaming satellite.
Credit: Ian Cash/Chris Moore


Establishing a market

Ian Cash of SICA Design Ltd, presented the new SPS concept during a Space Solar Power Workshop held last month in Montreal, Canada.

Cash reported that the simplicities and mass-savings inherent in a solid state SPS design “will enable a single payload, self-deploying SPS to pay back the energy costs over the first few months of operation, retiring the technical and financial risks before progress is made towards multi-terrawatt levels of power delivery from geosynchronous orbit.”

CASSIOPeiA offers a means to initiate beamed solar power from near-space “in the next few years, establishing a market for the reusable launch vehicles to follow,” Cash suggested.

The concept was aired at the 5th Annual IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments (WISEE 2017), held on October 10 to 12, 2017 at Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada.


For a copy of his paper, go to:

A video of Cash explaining the CASSIOPeiA is available at:

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