Home Discussion Forum What are the effects of passing microwaves through the Earth's atmosphere?

What are the effects of passing microwaves through the Earth's atmosphere?

Looking at the idea of a space based solar array and transferring the energy to earth via microwave transmission.


  1. That is impossible.. The loss between antennas would be at least 120 dB.even if U started with Gigi watts U would get here with almost no power.

  2. Most microwaves would burn up as they passed through the atmosphere. A few parts may make it, but most of the microwave, including the door, turntable, etc. would probably burn up. Refrigerators would fare slightly better and TVs would burn up completely.

  3. Not much, but it depends a bit on the frequency. It would probably cause more problems to things like birds (as in give them cancer.)
    MWs do not heat the atmosphere by any measureable amount (depending of the freq, again), and things like clouds are essentially transparent to them.
    The main advantage of a satelite in orbit would be that the MWs could be transmitted 24/7 because there is no “night” in space if you select the proper orbit.
    BUT, because of the unknows effects on animals (humans), they would probably have to be transmitted into desert regions, but that is no real problem.

  4. In order to avoid the excitation of a variety of plasma instabilities, stimulated brillouin/raman scattering, self focusing, etc.,the beam has to be huge and of very low intensity. Like over 1 km huge. Using a massive phased array antenna to send the power would result in a highly directional beam and you should be able to mostly avoid blasting microwaves everywhere. If you assume a uniform beam you should be able to solve pretty easily for say a 10 GW over an area of 1km^2 and see how big the electric fields are. Then you can compare that to the fields associated with holding a cell phone next to your head and see if it is bad (not sure, never done the calculation).
    one question is how do you make the microwaves. you need a lot of power and you need it to be extremely reliable because it would be hard to fix if it was in space. Electron beam devices can wear out, maybe you could use a whole bunch of them so if a few failed it wouldnt matter. sorry, now im just rambling.


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