« As I Said: You Didn't Build That Quickly Becomes I Didn't Say That | Main | The Light Worker: Why Hasn't Obama Met With His Jobs Council In Six Months? Because He's Got a Lot on His Plate »
July 19, 2012

YES! Drones Now Rechargeable By Laser

This is a technological advance I've had my eyes on for a couple of years now. There is no point hefting up thousands of tons of fuel in an aircraft -- and each ton of fuel takes five or six tons just to loft -- if you can power the aircraft by a very long extension cord.

That extension cord is a laser, directed at a receiving plate on the aircraft. You can leave the fuel on the ground and just pump the power up by laser-line, as needed. Weight: Zero point zero zero.

Now, you'd have to have an emergency cache of fuel on board, in case you have to land under your own power. But just using a laser to get a plane up to altitude on take-off would cut fuel use by, I don't know, 60-80% on any medium to long trip?

This story is just about powering drones by remote laser, but obviously the technology can be used for aircraft. Or spacecraft. Laser-assisted take-offs could make getting up to orbit reasonably economical.

Lockheed Martin and a company called LaserMotive have been able to keep a drone flying for some 49 hours non-stop, using a ground-based laser to recharge the drone’s on board battery, says Tom Koonce, the project manager for Lockheed Martin, in an interview with KNX1070 Newsradio.

The test, says Koonce, was conducted in a wind tunnel in Palmdale. The system will very soon be tested in actual airspace in the desert, requiring coordination with both the FAA and NASA to keep the ground-based laser from interfering with either commercial aircraft or Earth-orbiting space vehicles.

Don't get all excited. You didn't build that.

In forty years, we could have a National Laser Power Grid extending across the US. Planes might fly from node-to-node getting juiced.



digg this
posted by Ace at 03:04 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Cats [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u]: "I like cats, but I wish that they would stop killi ..."

Slapweasel, (Cold1), ([b]T[/b]) Baseball Nut [/i] [/b] [/u] [/s]: ""[i]Bwhahahahahahaha. Classic example of male mem ..."

goon : "I like cats, but I wish that they would stop killi ..."

goon : "So, okay then, if I take a picture of a snake livi ..."

CatchThirtyThr33: "Speaking of thought crimes: recently TSA has taken ..."

JuJuBee, just generally being shamey: "That hanging dog thing happens more than it should ..."

goon : "Well, okay then, if you're going to rescue someone ..."

Gumdrop Gorilla: "106 103 100 I was never banned. I got pissed at ..."

CatchThirtyThr33: "Hit Lost Maples State Park in the Hill Country of ..."

goon : "That video of the mob scene, compared to the dog s ..."

Margarita DeVille: "93 there is a right way and a wrong way to adopt a ..."

The bibulant logprof: "103 100 I was never banned. I got pissed at ace. ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64