Teaming up With Equinor: Wind + Space

Central to Solstorm's mission is leveraging Norwegian heavy industry expertise to solve the big problems of the 21st century. Our mission to explore how petrol parallel competence can be used in creating heavy-duty systems for space infrastructure led us to talks with energy giant Equinor.

Through pioneering work in heavy industry sectors, Norway sits on world-leading competence in the fields of fluid dynamics and combustion physics. Solstorm wants to use this expertise to create value in the new economy of space infrastructure.

During the Space Launcher accelerator programme, our team sat down with business developers from Equinor to explore how space technology can contribute to the electrification of the energy grid. The workshop focused on using space infrastructure technology to deepen our understanding of how high-altitude wind affects wind profiles down on earth.

On the ground, the wind is strongly braked by obstacles and surface roughness. High above the ground in the geostrophic wind's undisturbed air layers, the wind is no longer influenced by the earth's surface. Between these two extremes, wind speed changes with height. This phenomenon is called vertical wind shear.

During the programme, we developed a concept using tracable particles in a sounding rocket's fuel cells to gather wind mapping data of the different atmospheric layers.

The data collected have the possibility of opening access to wind profile data, previously unreachable due to the high altitude required for the data collection. This wind mapping data have the potential to optimize the efficiency of on-shore and off-shore wind grids by more accurately positioning the turbines in relation to dynamic-wind patterns.