Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mar 8 - Evaluating Alternative Sources of Energy: Solar Energy from Space, Paul Jaffe, Ph.D.

Concerns about global climate change have focused attention on a range of alternative energy sources that have minimal or greatly reduced carbon emissions when compared with conventional energy sources. Assessing how feasible and economically viable these alternative energy sources might be is important from a public policy standpoint in order to ensure taxpayer money is invested wisely.

For decades, proponents of Space Solar Power (SSP) have advocated for the development of satellites that would collect and transmit energy for use on Earth essentially 24 hours per day, all year round. This approach is billed as a way to overcome the shortcomings of terrestrial solar, wind, and other energy sources which suffer from intermittency, locale dependence, and other problems.
By using a quantitative means of comparing the possible costs of Space Solar Power, provisional conclusions can be drawn about the markets and conditions that might or might not argue for its development. Likewise, other possible alternative energy sources can be compared on an order-of-magnitude basis by using simple models that identify key sensitivities.

Paul Jaffe is an expert in space systems development and integration. He has over 20 years of experience as an electronics engineer, project lead, and principal investigator. At the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, he has been part of over a dozen NASA and Department of Defense space missions. His interests include novel space systems and technologies, renewable energy sources, and efficacy in K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. He received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Jaffe has twice been a recipient of the Alan Berman Research Publication Award. He received the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr., STEM and Diversity Champion of the year award for 2012.

He was president of NCAS from 1998 to 2003, and he is a proud lifetime member.

Saturday, March 8, 2014 1:30 pm - FREE
National Science Foundation
Room 110
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA
One block south of Ballston-MU Metro stop (map)
Enter NSF from the corner of 9th St. N & N Stuart Streets.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members
Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

For more information, call the 24-hour Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227)