AMERICAN’S RECENT DEVELOPMENT AIMS TO RECHARGE DRONE THROUGH LASER BEAM

As the drones are electrically powered different from the fighter jet who can be refuelled in the air but America has made his way through to a success in recharging drone though laser beam which can keep them aloft indefinitely.

Tom Nugent likes to call his company’s current project a “wireless extension cord” a perfect  analogy for Laser Motive’s laser transmitter/receiver system, which recently beamed enough energy to a 17.5-pound drone to keep it airborne at least 48 hours considering the fact that the drone usually fly normally for 2 hours.

In June the defence giant held a private wind-tunnel test at LaserMotive’s Seattle-area home. Technology demonstration went well. The main idea behind the project  can be understand by Nugent’s introduction line about the project: “You’re plugging a system into the wall, taking that electricity and converting it to light and transmitting that light through open air to a receiver, which converts the light back into electricity”

The indoor flight test saw the Stalker UAS modified to incorporate a Power Link system developed by Kent, Washington, based company LaserMotive. The system sends a beam of laser light from a ground station, through the air to a receiver of photovoltaic cells on the UAS. The system can provide continuous power to the UAV while it stays within range of the ground station and can also charge batteries onboard the UAS to allow it to fly beyond the range of the power link.

The laser-transmitter demonstrator consists of a 3 x 6–foot optics table holding two gallium arsenide-based diode laser arrays. The laser arrays sit in boxes about half the size of a loaf of bread and shine into a set of lenses and mirrors. The lenses and mirrors shape and merge the laser beams and focus them into a gimbaled mirror, which in turn directs them toward a receiver.

In fact, the indoor flight test, which was held in a wind tunnel, finished with the Stalker’s battery having more energy stored than it did when the flight began. With the system providing the potential for practically unlimited flight time, the flight test was only concluded because the initial endurance goals set by the team had been met.

“This test is one of the final steps in bringing laser-powered flight to the field,” said Tom Nugent, president of LaserMotive. “By enabling in-flight recharging, this system will ultimately extend capabilities, improve endurance and enable new missions for electric aircraft. The next step in proving the reality of this technology is to demonstrate it outdoors in an extended flight of the Stalker.”

Nugent demonstrated that it can beam power to a receiver at least a kilometer away, which Nugent says is plenty of range to recharge a drone in flight. His company won a NASA Centennial Challenge Prize for beaming power that far in 2009. With larger optics and more expensive lasers, the system’s range could be extended to hundreds of kilometers in a straight line, but the Earth’s atmosphere would limit how far away a drone could be from its power source when flying at lower altitudes.

Laser power beaming is an idea that’s been around for years, but Nugent and his colleagues think its time has finally arrived, partly because of changes on the home front. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of loosening regulations that until recently have limited small UAV flying mainly to hobbyists. So providing a way to keep drones in the air more than a couple of hours could provide a major boost to an unmanned-aircraft market already poised to explode.

About sevencolourgossips

As you all know Seven Color Gossip is our blog name owned by three mechanical engineers Sikandar Hayat Khan,Faizyab Khan and Hamza Aslam whose each and every word contains sense in it.From seven color we want to convey our message that you will find all the latest interesting topics which can be from any field and from gossips we mean that in seven color gossips you will even find your most hated topics most likely as we will make them easy for you to understand.

Posted on August 9, 2012, in News, Smart Tech, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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