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On February 12, Technology Service Corporation (TSC) successfully completed the first demonstration of the company's Coded Optical Power System (COPS(TM)) at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, CA. This technology allows power to be delivered to remote systems via free space laser transmission with efficiencies approaching 50 percent while simultaneously transmitting data.
Development and Transformation, Space and Missile Systems Center. "This phase efficiently transferred laser energy that in turn could be used to power microsatellites."
The demonstration was novel in the way it was executed. With the exception of the transmitting laser, viewing window, one lens, and the power converter, all of the support materials were purchased from the local hardware store. Precision optics and directing mirrors were not used. The demonstration took approximately 15 minutes to set up and was conducted on a conference table top.
The COPS(TM), a TSC proprietary concept, was used to power a pulsed plasma thruster. For the demonstration, the COPS(TM) used an Apollo Instruments solid state laser transmitter operating in a continuous wave mode at 808 nanometers (nm) with a power range of 10 - 30 watts. The COPS(TM) delivered more than five watts of electrical power at approximately 13 volts. The demonstration lasted approximately 30 minutes.