Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Optical problem concerning space mirror.

  1. May 11, 2009 #1
    When designing a space based energy satellite for our project, we ran across the option to just use a mirror to reflect extra light to a photovoltaic ground station on earth. The main difficulty of this option is that due to the fact that the light coming from the south pole of the sun hits the mirror with a different angle then the light coming from the north pole a 336 kilometer wide circle on earth would be illuminated.
    Is there any way to overcome this problem either with a configuration of lenses or with certain metamaterials or nanomaterials? It seems to me that at a certain (focal) point on the mirror light hits it in a various different angles. This is a problem that to my knowledge cannot be overcome with macro devices. Anybody has a proposition?

    Thank you for your attention.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Or you could just use a concave mirror
    You are trying to make an image of the sun on the ground
     
  4. May 11, 2009 #3
    Yes I am trying to make an image of the sun on the ground but i am trying to make that image as small as possible. A concave mirror cannot do the job this is because at one point of the mirror the light comes in at a variaty of angles.
     
  5. May 11, 2009 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That is true of any lens or mirror making an image of a finite object.

    You have an extra constraint that the mirror-image distance (and so focal length) is restricted which sets the minimum size of the image.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Optical problem concerning space mirror.
Loading...