The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has its eye on $300 billion worth of obsolete, failed, and non-functioning satellites in geosynchronous orbit, with an eye toward collecting working parts from them to be recycled and used on new satellites.
Unlike an earlier satellite recycling proposal that was more about refueling and extending the life of old satellites, the DARPA Phoenix Program would harvest the useful components from satellites that are no longer functioning for use on new satellites.
For satellites in high, geosynchronous orbits, a lot of energy has been used to put those pieces in that location. If antennas, solar panels, and other components can be collected and re-used there could be significant recycling. Theoretically, it would also be possible to launch satellites without these components, making for a lighter payload which could be easier and less expensive to launch, and then attach the salvaged parts to them to make the new satellites fully functional.
It's better than getting rid of them with giant lasers!
written by electronics recycling, February 07, 2012
|< Prev||Next >|