By early 2019, the US Army will start providing power to a drone via a laser beam. They hope to be powering airborne drones by 2020 as long as the necessary regulatory process is approved.
DARPA will use the Silent Falcon UAS Technologies solar electric, fixed wing, long endurance, long-range Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for the Stand-off Ubiquitous Power/Energy Replenishment – Power Beaming Demo (SUPER PBD).
DARPA will try to provide power to drones at a range of 500 meters.
DARPA will demonstrate the feasibility of recharging the batteries on board, in flight, by using a laser light source, allowing for indefinitely long flight times by using concatenated “Fly” and “Fly & Charge” cycles removing the need to land to refuel.
1. Power beaming is an emerging disruptive technology
2. There are important tradeoffs in system implementation between:
– Safety and power density
– Wavelength and aperture size
3. Recent breakthroughs in component technologies have increased system feasibility
4. The research and industrial base is eager to develop and transition capabilities in this area to operations
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.