Imagine beaming electric power from space as a viable solar energy option. Engineer and researcher Martin Hoffert, professor emeritus and former chair of the department of applied science at New York University, will discuss this theory further in a free lecture, open to the public, on Nov. 4, 2009 at NJIT, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the NJIT Campus Center Atrium. The NJIT Campus Center is located at Central Ave. and Summit St. Parking is available on the street.
The practical application of this concept, Hoffert maintains, could be markedly accelerated by experiments feasible now ― some employing the International Space Station and including orbital mirrors and microwave and laser beaming in space. Economies of scale from commercialization would also help to make solar electricity from orbit a feasible addition to the mix of renewable energy alternatives.
Hoffert has been on the research staff of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, General Applied Science Laboratories, Advanced Technology Laboratories and Riverside Research Institute. He has been a National Academy of Sciences Senior Resident Research Associate at the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Widely published, he has written about fluid mechanics, plasma physics, atmospheric science, oceanography, planetary atmospheres, environmental science, and solar and wind energy conversion. His work in geophysics focused on developing theoretical models of atmospheres and oceans to address environmental issues, including the ocean/climate model first employed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess how the use of fossil fuels contributes to global warming.
Hoffert has a BS in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan, and MS and PhD degrees in astronautics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now the Polytechnic Institute of New York). He also has an MA in liberal studies from the New School for Social Research, where he did graduate work in sociology and economics. His research in alternate energy conversion encompasses wind-tunnel and full-scale experimentation with wind turbines and photovoltaic generation of hydrogen, as well as wireless power transmission applicable to solar-power satellites.
The talk is the second of the year sponsored by the NJIT Technology and Society Forum, an annual lecture series. Last month Dickson D. Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, discussed his theories about vertical farming. He believes that vertical urban farms, built on the floors of existing buildings, could help repair many of the world’s damaged ecosystems and moderate global climate change.
Contact Jay Kappraff, (973-596-3490) or please visit http://tsf.njit.edu for more information. Event co-sponsors are the NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College and Sigma Xi.