During the past month the company Business Plan has been revised, updated and completed for 2009. The tube for the Micro-Defect Detector has also arrived for commissioning.
REL has also recently completed an internally funded study into the launch aspects of Solar Power Satellites using SKYLON. A solar power satellite (SPS) collects sunlight and transforms it into electrical energy. This is electromagnetically beamed back to Earth where it is collected by a large array of receivers for conversion to electricity.
Unlike conventional renewable energy (wind, wave) SPS is scalable to very high power levels (>5Gw) and can provide baseload power (load factor >90%). Although first proposed in 1968 the idea has not been implemented due mainly to the very high cost of current expendable launchers. However the report shows that the low cost, high reliability and rapid turnaround characteristics of SKYLON would overcome this problem. The launch cost would be reduced by a factor of 50-100 compared to today's expendable launchers and about 5 compared to reusable TSTO rockets.
The Project STERN website is now live - you can visit it here: www.projectstern.co.uk
On January 12th, an article about REL was published on the Slashdot website: Slashdot Article