Laser Powered Drones

What's New Under the Sun
Source:  DARPA The Silent Falcon
Laser Powered Drones DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, is ramping up a program to power drones solely by lasers.  It's part of the program that created The Silent Falcon, a solar electric, unmanned aircraft system that uses laser power.

The Silent Falcon
The Silent Falcon is designed for long range, long endurance military missions.  It uses solar arrays to charge its batteries and power its motors, avionics and payloads.

Never Ending Flights
DARPA is planning a test to demonstrate the feasibility of recharging Silent Falcon's batteries onboard, inflight by using a powerful laser.  The light energy transmitted by a ground based laser will be received by photovoltaic receiving arrays in the aircraft's vertical tail.  This will enable indefinitely long flights and eliminate the need to land to refuel.  DARPA expects to deliver this system to the US military in the not so distant future.


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