A aviation & planes forum. AviationBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » AviationBanter forum » rec.aviation newsgroups » Piloting
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

The US Army is making a laser-powered drone that can fly indefinitely

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old September 4th 18, 10:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
external usenet poster
Posts: 3,870
Default The US Army is making a laser-powered drone that can fly indefinitely

Will laser goggles soon become part of a pilot's flight bag?


The US Army is making a laser-powered drone that can fly indefinitely

Image: A drone being controlled in the sky
Drones could get power beamed to them from the ground

By David Hambling

The US Army is taking wireless recharging to new heights, by using
lasers to power small drones in mid-air.

Small flying vehicles with several rotating blades, known as
multicopters or drones, have proven valuable to the military for
intelligence gathering. But they are incredibly power-hungry, meaning
their flying time is limited to half an hour or less.

Now the US Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and
Engineering Center based in Maryland are developing a power beaming
system with a combination of modern lasers and efficient photovoltaic

The aim is to provide power from five hundred metres away – enough to
keep a drone patrolling indefinitely above a base
or fly over a convoy for its entire route. The system works by firing
laser light at the drone’s photovoltaic cell, which then converts the
light into electricity.
Read mo Drones are checking up on insurance claims to look for

“The major challenge we see is thermal management,” says William
Rowley, who works on the project. Energy not converted to electricity
becomes heat, so there is a risk of melting or burning the drone. They
plan to overcome this problem by developing accurate beam control and
ensuring the excess heat can dissipate.

The plan looks technically feasible, says David Anderson at the
University of Glasgow. Though proving its safety is another matter,
given the potential risks from the high-energy beam. Remote power
systems have been laboratory toys since the 60s, but a practical
working prototype has not previously been developed. The project aims
to demonstrate a working ground-to-ground system in early 2019 with
ground-to-air following in 2020

“The challenge is how you can convince the regulatory authorities that
it is safe,” says Anderson. “Specifically, you have to persuade them
that the laser will not miss the drone energy collector panel when

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
North Korean Drone Found in South Korea Was Spying on American Missile Defense System - NKorean drone.jpg Miloch Aviation Photos 0 June 13th 17 03:36 PM
Facebook's massive solar-powered drone takes its first flight Larry Dighera Piloting 1 July 25th 16 03:25 AM
de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver aka Army U-6 pics [07/20] - U.S. Army U-6 Beaver Aircraft.jpg (1/1) Miloch Aviation Photos 0 June 21st 16 12:18 AM
Powered gliders = powered aircraft for 91.205 Mark James Boyd Soaring 2 December 12th 04 03:28 AM
Laser-powered Aircraft Big John Home Built 10 October 13th 03 05:30 PM

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2019 AviationBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.