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Rated: E · Fiction · Scientific · #2135784
Two for the price of one.
On paper, this will provide the energy needs of every military based around the world with enough extra power to allow the local community to have essentially free electricity. In reality, the solar concentrating arrays will work as normal during the daylight hours, heating molten salt for continuous generation even a week after the sun has stopped shining. These arrays will be designed primarily to act as distributed virtual telescopes, providing nightly imaging of the entire sky in such detail as to identify every orbiting body larger than 3mm. Once systems are online, we can use simple reflectors in orbit to provide nearly any real time feed provided an array is in line to capture the reflection. Being able to view the occlusions of orbiting bodies will allow for up to the minute updates on known and unknown orbital vector changes.

During the daylight hours, the arrays will fulfill their stated purpose, but will also be available to be overridden and used to blind and or vaporize orbiting or inbound objects. This use will have to be used only on emergency basis, or the surprise factor will be minimal.

If computer storage and computational power continues to expand to nearly limitless values, you should be able to save and process astronomical data for physics related observations. You should also be able to identify Vanta-blacked out solar sail craft in the system out to at least the asteroid belt.

If the defensive nature of the arrays is not exposed, future growth should allow for lunar and space based arrays that can be added to the earth based ones, increasing the potential with each new array.
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