Laser Power Beaming Aimed At UAVs

A company that won a NASA prize for beaming power to a climber in a space-elevator competition is targeting unmanned aircraft as an initial application for its laser-based technology.

LaserMotive says power beaming could extend the endurance of electrically powered UAVs. The company plans to fly a small internally funded demonstrator by year’s end.

The rest of the story

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Also a startup company in Maryland ,Lighthouse DEV in a joint effort with the University of Maryland is developing a UAV that is powered by a laser.

    Lighthouse dev llc
    Lighthouse dev, LLC is a Washington, DC area company that specializes in the design and development of optics technology, eye-safe laser power beamin…
  • For the typical RC hobbyist, is it cheaper than just landing and changing out battery packs?
  • Welcome to LaserMotive...
    LaserMotive is a Seattle-based company developing laser power beaming systems to transmit electricity without wires, for applications where wires are either cost prohibitive or physically impractical. As our first project, we won $900,000 in the NASA-sponsored Power Beaming competition, part of the Space Elevator Games.

    LaserMotive is founded on our belief in laser power beaming as a “powerful” solution for a variety of applications, near-term and in the future, in space and on the Earth. Recent advances in commercial laser technology are bringing many exciting applications within the reach of economic and technical viability, from powering unmanned aerial vehicles to launching rockets via laser power to beaming limitless solar energy from space to the Earth. The Power Beaming Challenge has been an excellent first step along LaserMotive’s path to demonstrating the physical and economic viability of laser power beaming.

    Team Lasermotive Qualifies for a Share of the $900,000 NASA Power Beaming Prize
  • The lasers are not super hard to get, and worst case you just use a big array of IR diodes. It shouldn't be too expensive, and if you know people you can get multi-KW IR lasers pretty easily. You just need to use freight shipping :D . But laser charging would be difficult, dangerous and inefficient, so I doubt it's gonna take off for a while.
  • @Martin - Don't worry, the multi-kW lasers will start showing up on eBay dirt cheap ($1M or so). Just make sure you buy a long enough extension cord (220V, 3-phase) to reach from your home to the flying field. Then prepare to have your plane circle the flying field for however long it takes to charge it (which will probably be longer than just landing and sticking in a new battery pack). Whoops... here I am, being realistic again. Darn. I spoil everything!
  • That would take a load of creativity to get one's hands on a military-grade multi-kW laser.
  • Would be a great idea. I know it has a high energy consum but it would be worth it, if you could charge your model that way.

    Just imagine, you could fly in a 30x30m field, with your drone being recharged whilst circling. That would be awesome.

    No more landing at the rc-field guys, just fly all the helis and planes to the landing pad at the back, and pick it up after 20 minutes ;-)
This reply was deleted.