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LASER powered aircrafts could be the future

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posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 03:24 AM

I've just stumbled upon this interesting news from US Special Forces have successfully tested a silent flying electricity powered drone that could fly for an uninterrupted 48 hours despite its battery is supposed to last at most 2 hours.

How was this done? By recharging wirelessly the battery during the flight, with LASER!

The electric version of Lockheed Martin's Stalker has a battery that usually lasts just two hours, but in the test, a laser power system wirelessly recharged a drone battery in midair for 24 times as long.

Full article here.

This has a lot of implications about powering aircrafts or other vehicles on earth, but I can't help but think about how we could actually use this technology to power space vehicles, and allow much more range than what we're allowed now given our current technology!

This could be amazing, no?

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 03:33 AM
I was speaking to an electrician friend of mine about this yesterday, and he said that this method of electric transference wastes about 40% of the electricity sent.

So you blast a laser up into the sky, containing X amount of electricity, and only 60% of it is transferred to the machine being recharged.

Sounds a little under-developed to me.

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 03:54 AM
Its not sending electricity up through a laser, its light that gets converted to electron flow (via photovoltaic cell I suppose).

But forget the laser, how cool is that:

Laser power may work very well for electric drones the size of the Stalker, which has a 10-foot (3 meters) wingspan, but bigger electric aircraft have turned to different solutions for their higher power requirements. A planned trans-Atlantic flight of an electric aircraft will use drones to deliver fresh batteries in midair.

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 04:09 AM
reply to post by Unrealised

Not only that but what happens in a lightning storm, or what if the laser misses its mark and instead hits the cockpit?
Its far too dangerous and hardly see the need for it. Why can't they just refuel it when it drops the people off? Gee its not that hard.

edit on 17-7-2012 by CrimsonKapital because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 04:18 AM
I insist where, apparently so far, you have missed my point:

The implications on vehicles in space can be enormous. Powering a vehicle, even at a "very remote" distance using a LASER beam would be an awesome asset. You don't have to worry anymore about carrying fuel, which saves a lot of space in the vehicle.

Imagine what it would be like if we could now send a probe the like of Voyager 1 and 2 but powered from a space station sending a LASER beam ? They could be actually accelerated all the way (no friction in space) with just a light beam, which requires little power.

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 05:12 AM
Sounds promising for future space travel to me, but yes it still needs development.

Also that will need a kick@ss rechargeable battery, let's hope they don't use HTC, apple, Nokia, Samsung or any other company that makes cell phone batteries...


posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 06:17 AM
link already posted. That said, the laser needed to power a car will cut through steel, think about all the blind people and fires if the aiming goes off.

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 06:45 AM
reply to post by XL5

Third time.


That's my point. How is it that people can't even seem to read...?

Well if that sort of ignorance remains, then please mods feel free to close, as according to some it is "already posted" (
) (or not...)
edit on 17-7-2012 by SpookyVince because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by verschickter

Its not sending electricity up through a laser, its light that gets converted to electron flow (via photovoltaic cell I suppose).



If you are using a laser to solar cell you are essentially "sending electricity" but through a conversion process. One that is highly inefficient.

posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:16 PM
Maybe, but what you lose in the conversion process you make up for in weight and utility. A battery or liquid fuel to power a drone for 48 hours would be very heavy, requiring larger wings and even more fuel to bear the weight. And if efficency is not your goal but instead the ability to keep a craft up in the air for 48 hours then the conversion loss is just the price you pay.

posted on Jul, 18 2012 @ 04:33 AM
No one on the point.

Mods please close. Pointless to let it go.

posted on Jul, 18 2012 @ 12:05 PM
No, you just want to talk about your likes and thats not how any forum works.
You didn´t think it to the end and you make assumptions that are not correct.

So my on the fly thoughts for you:
The further your space vehicle goes, the more complicated will be the aiming of the laser.
If you want to power a spacecraft with a laser, this laser must be high energy.
You have to aim at the converter so if you want to turn your vehicle, you need converters everywhere, not to talk about what happens if the spacecraft gets a tiny drift or the station laser just wobbles a bit, you could kill your vehicle with that laser.
Next thing, as you should know, earth rotates (surprise surprise) so you would need that laser station in space.
Hm, hardly makes sense anymore, because the spacecraft could be powered the same way the laser station will. Solar power.
Next is that mass in space should be no problem once accelerated it will keep the speed, minus little meteors slowing it down and extern gravity from other planets. It only gets a problem when you accelerate or deaccelerate or if you have to get it behind the orbit from earth.

Also, someone said already that the conversion is a heavy loss road. I don´t know exact numbers but I work with lasers at work sometimes (optical, not cutting) and they are not good when you look at the energy spend. Actually have to look at input/output to give you any number.

It sounds cool, but is totally ineffective.

edit on 18-7-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

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