LaserMotive plan powers UAVs continuously

May 5, 2010 at 11:43 AM
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KENT, Wash., May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. company LaserMotive announced it has plans for a laser-based solution providing unmanned aircraft used by military and governments with continuous power.

LaserMotive said Tuesday in a release it has developed a blueprint that will use what the company calls laser power beaming that wirelessly "transfer(s) energy from one location to another using laser light."

An unlimited power source for unmanned aerial vehicles has the potential to have a significant impact on the rapidly growing UAV market. The U.S. military has widely deployed UAV technologies for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations providing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with advanced situational awareness capabilities.

"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," LaserMotive President Tom Nugent said.

LaserMotive says its continuous UAV power solution is based on its winning entry of a power beaming competition put on by NASA. The impact of the blueprint's potential is expected to be felt outside of the military market with growing number of government agencies deploying UAV technologies around the world.

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