Monday, 06 Sep, 2010 Technology

Company Presents Laser Tech That Could Power Space Elevators


The Seattle-based company, LaserMotive, which focuses on developing laser power beaming systems to send electricity without wires, managed to keep a model helicopter, weighting 22 grams, hovering for 1 hour by using a few watts of laser power.

Despite the fact that such technology could be used in a large variety of application, the company's main goal is to use it to power space elevators that could bring different objects into orbit.

It is worth mentioning that the unmanned aerial vehicles need a lot of power from batteries and fuel. Even the UAVs that are powered by solar energy can stay afloat for a limited period of time. The new technology could be used to provide the necessary power in order to improve the time in the air, informs NewScientist.

LasesMotive carried out a demonstration of their latest invention at AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference in Denver, Colorado. In order to show its laser power, the company "focused light from an array of semiconductor diode near-infrared lasers down to a 7-centimetre beam, which automatically tracked a modified radio-controlled helicopter." The small helicopter featured PV cells that were optimized for the laser's wavelength that converted half the laser power, reaching the cells to produce a few watts of energy, which was enough to power the small rotors of the aircraft.

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