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Regulatory Roadmap Study for Space-Based Solar Power

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

In March 2023 UK Launch Services Limited (UKLSL) completed a comprehensive Regulatory Roadmap towards a Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) on behalf of Space Solar Ltd and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

SBSP involves harnessing solar energy in space and wirelessly transmitting it to Earth. Large-scale solar arrays placed in geostationary orbit or other orbital locations collect solar energy and transmit it to Earth using an RF link where it is received via a rectifying antenna and sent to the grid as electricity.

However, the current UK Space Industry and Safety regulations are not equipped to deal with a project of this scale or nature. So the Satellite Applications Catapult appointed UKLSL to address these challenges and de-risk the SBSP project from a regulatory and licensing perspective.

The objectives of the Regulatory Roadmap study were to:

  1. Incorporate appropriate regulatory and licensing considerations into the current SBSP plans and foreseen technical solutions for both the In Orbit Demonstration (IOD) and the Full-Service Solution (FSS) and any intermediate demonstration missions.

  2. "Future Proof" the foreseen missions, technical solutions, and the overall project against potential regulatory issues, delays, and blockers to the greatest extent possible.

  3. Prioritise the proposed IOD mission(s) technical solutions, providing practical and technical recommendations to mitigate licensing and regulatory risks. Additionally, identify potential problem areas within the FSS technical solution(s).

The study findings and recommendations have laid the groundwork for an optimised regulatory framework to support the development and deployment of SBSP technology. By pre-emptively identifying regulatory challenges and suggesting possible mitigations, UKLSL has paved the way for a smoother and more efficient progression of the SBSP project, bringing us closer to harnessing the potential of space-based solar power.

UKLSL had support from Night Sky Consulting, Rocket Engineering Ltd, RS Risk and Safety Management Ltd and RUWAH in delivering this project.

Read more about space-based solar power here.

About UK Launch Services Limited:

UK Launch Services Limited (UKLSL) is a trail-blazing organisation dedicated to advancing space launch capabilities and fostering technological innovation within the UK space sector.

UKLSL presently offers services to lead or assist spaceflight businesses with their journey. Their comprehensive technical advisory service provides end-to-end support to clients. UKLSL's experienced team is well-equipped to guide organisations through the complexities of the space industry.


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