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LaserMotive Plans Laser-Powered Fuel System for UAVs

Photonics.com
May 2010
KENT, Wash., May 12, 2010 — LaserMotive, an R&D company specializing in laser power, has unveiled its blueprint for creating the first endless power system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“Because laser power beaming enables electric aircraft to be recharged in flight, it is especially viable for high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles and other types of aircraft that need to power over a long period of time,” said Tom Nugent, president and co-founder of the company, which won the NASA-sponsored 2009 Power Beaming Competition.

The proposed system won a prize of nearly $1 million — the first time any entrant has won the competition.

The system will use laser power beaming — the wireless transfer of energy from one location to another using laser light — to create an unlimited source of power for unmanned aerial vehicles, one of the largest growth sectors in the aerospace and defense industries. According to industry research firm Teal Group, the market for unmanned aerial vehicles is expected to grow worldwide from $4.9 billion annually to $11.5 billion annually in the next 10 years.

“Today’s announcement marks an important step not only in powering UAVs but in extending their abilities, improving their endurance and enabling new missions,” Nugent said.

LaserMotive plans to develop a demonstration model of an airborne vehicle powered by laser before the end of this year. The first working prototypes of the new system could be available within as little as 18 months.

For more information, visit:  www.lasermotive.com 




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