Laser Aircraft Refueling: Power Transfer Beams?

Laser aircraft refueling is a unique approach to the problem of providing aircraft with power. Since aircraft must also lift their fuel tanks, it presents severe limitations to designers.

Taysir Nayfeh and colleagues at Cleveland State University have devised a way of refuelling aircraft using a high-powered laser to recharge on-board batteries. If an aircraft is fitted with the appropriate panels, up to 60% of the incident laser light can be converted to electricity for power.

Their patent shows a laser guided by a GPS transmittter in the plane.


(Power transfer beam)

In the world of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Galaxy-class starships can transfer energy to other ships using a power transfer beam. This is illustrated above as the USS Enterprise-D gives power to a Romulan warbird.

Update: I forgot to link to this article describing the first flight of a laser-powered airplane.

From HIGH INTENSITY LASER POWER BEAMING RECEIVER FOR SPACE AND TERRESTRIAL APPLICATIONS (patent application) via New Scientist. Thanks to Moira for the tip and the reference on this story. [ MOIRA - I need the reference for the Pentagon UV grenade story! Thanks. ]

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/9/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag' - Philip K. Dick, 1955

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
'He was glad to crawl into his autocab and close the cover.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.