Can we block the sun to stop climate change?
Many people think so. In fact, there is a new field of study catering to this idea – solar geoengineering.
The expert search team at PatentYogi discovered a patent that proposes to install a shield between the earth and the sun to block sun rays from reaching the earth. The inventor who filed this patent is Curtis Bradley, who died a few months before the patent was granted. He also authored a book proposing solutions to global warming, What Matters Is You and What You Do. He attended Stanford University and had a 35-year career In aeronautical engineering with Garrett AiResearch (later Allied Signal and Honeywell)
In the Patent, Curtis proposed an orbiting shield, having many square miles of surface area, located in earth orbit above earth’s atmosphere centralized near the equator. So, rockets launched from the earth would release and install the shield. The shield may be made of lightweight material like fabric, which makes it cheaper to transport via rockets. The shield can be installed on Lagrange point 1. This is a point between earth and sun where the gravitational forces of earth and sun cancel each other. So, the shield can be parked at this point
Moreover, the orbiting shield is in motion in a Sun-synchronous orbit. So, it rotates in a direction opposite to earth’s normal daily rotation, that direction or rotation permits the shield to maintain a single position relative to the Sun. The shield blocks the sun which casts shadow on earth.
This may not be ideal as it would lead to environmental side effects. The shield may be designed to not block the sun entirely, rather it may partially block sun rays. Curtis mentions that the size of shield area must be scaled in an area in a ratio equal to about fifty percent of the polar ice fields. This is a huge area to cover. The patent teaches joining multiple shields to cover such a huge area. The shields will have thrusters to help them position themselves correctly.
The idea is unconventional and there are many technical problems yet to be solved. But, we may have to use such unconventional solutions to fight the climate change crises that threatens humanity.
Publication Number: US9457919B2
Patent Title: Climate-regulating-system
Publication date: 2016-10-04
Filing date: 2015-01-05
Inventors: Curtis Bradley
Assignee: Curtis Bradley