Sharon Weinberger at the Danger Room writes about Pentagon Dreamer’s Sun-Beaming Sats, satellites which would collect solar energy and beam it down to earth.
I wrote about this some time back (see: Just don’t get in between the transmitter and the receiver) and have been intrigued by this idea since I was a kid:
I see it as analogous to satellite television compared to cable television. Never mind that the cable companies get their signal from satellites. They distribute their signal over “grids” of wires that must be laid and maintained and upgraded. The signal reaches your house, then your internal network of wires distributes it to all of your televisions wherever you’ve got them. Satellite television, on the other hand, beams the signal to your house without the need of any cables or switches or other hardware.
You receive the signal on your dish, then distribute it throughout the house the same way as the old-world cable subscriber. DirecTV wants to add more local channels? Well, launch another satellite. Expensive? Yes, but once the bird is in place, the entire subscriber base has access to the new signals. And if terrorists destroy my neighbor’s dish I can still catch NFL Sunday Ticket in my living room. Your satellite dish is like the microwave receiver on earth, and your house (and its independent network of wires) is like New York City, only not so messy.