The experiment is part of Caltech’s Space Solar Energy Project, and the institute announced the success of the initiative in a press release yesterday.
This breakthrough was made possible by the MAPLE device launched into orbit in January.
MAPLE is a prototype for collecting and reflecting solar energy.
The device was launched as part of the California Institute of Technology’s Space Solar Power Project, which was launched to search for ways to transfer energy wirelessly from space.
In the latest experiment, MAPLE’s transmitter array beamed solar energy collected in space via microwaves to a receiver placed on the roof of the Gordon and Betty Moore Engineering Laboratory on the institute’s campus.
Ali Hajimiri, co-director of the Space Solar Energy Project, said: “Through our experiments so far, we have confirmed that MAPLE can successfully transmit energy to receivers in space. This time we have programmed the array to direct its energy to Earth.”
Of course we tested it on Earth, but now we know it can withstand space travel and work there,” the scientist added.
Through this method, the research aims to expand access to energy among different groups “just as the internet democratized access to information”.
According to Hajimiri, there will be no need for any energy transmission infrastructure to obtain energy with this method.