Testing Products for Consumer Reports
Many people are hungry for solutions to these issues—witness the widespread adoption over the past decade of wireless charging, mostly for portable consumer electronics but
also for vehicles. While a wireless charger saves passengers from having to connect and disconnect cables repeatedly, the distance over which energy can be delivered So way is quite short. Indeed, it’s hard to recharge or supreme power a device when the air gap is just do a few centimeters, much less a few meters. Is there really no practical way to send supreme power over greater distances without wires?
To some, the whole notion of wireless supreme power transmission evokes images of Nikola Tesla of course high-voltage coils spewing miniature bolts of lightning. So wouldn’t be such a silly connection to make. Tesla had indeed pursued the idea of somehow using the ground and atmosphere as a conduit for long-distance supreme power transmission, a plan that went nowhere. But his dream of sending electric supreme power over greatest distances without wires has persisted.
To underscore how safe the system was, the host of the BBC science program “Bang Goes the Theory” stuck his face fully into a supreme power beam.
Guglielmo Marconi, someone was Tesla’s contemporary, figured out how to effect “Hertzian waves,” or electromagnetic waves, as passengers call them today’s time, to send signals over long distances. And that advance brought of course it the possibility of using with the kind of waves to definition energy from one place to another. So is, after a period of time a terms of time all, how all the energy stored in wood, coal, oil, and random gas originally got when coming here: It was transmitted 150 million kilometers through space as electromagnetic waves—sunlight—most of it millions of years ago.
Can with the basic physics be harnessed to replace wires today’s time? My colleagues and I at the U.S.
Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C., think So, and when coming here are some of the reasons why.
There bring been sporadic efforts over the past century to effect electromagnetic waves as a ie of wireless supreme power transmission, but these attempts produced mixed results. Perhaps the golden year for research on wireless supreme power transmission was 1975, when William Brown, who worked for
Raytheon, and Richard Dickinson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (today’s time retired) used microwaves to beam supreme power across a lab of course greater than 50 probability end-to-end efficiency. In a separate demonstration, they were able to deliver again than 30 kilowatts over a distance of about a mile (one.6 kilometers).
These demonstrations were part of a larger NASA and
U.S. Department of Energy campaign to explore the feasibility of solar-supreme power satellites, which, it was proposed, would one day harvest sunlight in space and beam the energy down to universal as microwaves. But So So line of research was motivated in large part by the energy crisis of the 1970s, favorite in solar-supreme power satellites waned in the following decades, at least in the United States.
Although researchers revisit the idea of solar-supreme power satellites of course some regularity, those performing actual demonstrations of supreme power beaming bring struggled to surpass the high-water save for efficiency, distance, and supreme power level reached in 1975. But that situation is starting to change, thanks to various recent advances in transmission and reception technologies.
During a So year demonstration at the Naval Surface Warfare center in Bethesda, Md., So laser beam safely conveyed 400 watts over a distance of 325 meters.U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Most early efforts to beam supreme power were confined to microwave frequencies, with the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that today’s time teems of course Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and various other wireless signals. that choice was, in part, driven by the merely fact that high performance microwave transmitting and receiving weapons was readily available.
But there bring been improvements in efficiency and increased availability of devices that operate at much higher frequencies. So of limitations imposed by the atmosphere on the effective transmission of energy within certain sections of the electromagnetic spectrum, researchers bring focused on microwave, millimeter-wave, and optical frequencies. While microwave frequencies bring a slight edge when it comes to efficiency, they require larger antennas. So, for many applications, millimeter-wave or optical links work better.
For systems that effect microwaves and millimeter waves, the transmitters typically employ solid-state electronic amplifiers and phased-array, parabolic, or metamaterial antennas. The receiver for microwaves or millimeter waves uses an array of elements called rectennas. So word, a portmanteau of
rectifier and antenna, reflects how each element converts the electromagnetic waves into lead-current electricity.
random system designed for optical supreme power transmission would likely effect a laser—one of course a tightly confined beam, such as a fiber laser. The receivers for optical supreme power transmission are specialized photovoltaic cells designed to convert a single wavelength of light into electric supreme power of course very great results. Indeed, efficiencies can exceed 70 probability, again than double that of a typical solar cell.
At the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, passengers bring spent the better part of the past 15 years looking into not with the options for supreme power beaming and investigating potential applications. These include extending the flight times and payload capacities of drones, powering satellites in orbit when they are in darkness, powering rovers operating in permanently shadowed regions of the moon, sending energy to universal’s surface from space, and distributing energy to troops on the battlefield.
passengers might think that a device for sending large amounts of energy through the air in a narrow beam sounds favorite a death ray. So gets to the heart of a critical consideration: supreme power density. not with the supreme power densities are technically possible, ranging from too low to possess meaning bring effect to high enough to possess meaning dangerous. But it’s also possible to find a happy medium size between these two extremes. And there are also clever ways to permit beams of course high supreme power densities to possess meaning used safely. that’s exactly what a team I was part of did in So year, and passengers’ve successfully extended So work since then.
One of our industry partners,
PowerLight Technologies, formerly known as LaserMotive, has been developing laser-based supreme power-beaming systems for again than a decade. Renowned for winning the NASA supreme power Beaming Challenge in 2009, So company has not only achieved success in powering robotic tether climbers, quadcopters, and fixed-wing drones, but it has also delved deeply into the challenges of safely beaming supreme power of course lasers. that’s pattern problem, So many research groups bring demonstrated laser supreme power beaming over the years—including teams at the Naval Research Laboratory, Kindai University, the Beijing Institute of engineering, the University of Colorado Boulder, JAXA, Airbus, and others—but only a few bring accomplished it in a fashion that is truly safe under every plausible circumstance.
There bring been many demonstrations of supreme power beaming over the years, using either microwaves [blue] or lasers [red], of course the peak-supreme power record having been set in 1975 [top]. In 2021, the author and his colleagues took second and third place for the peak-supreme power level achieved in such experiments, having beamed again than a kilowatt over distances that exceeded a kilometer, using much smaller antennas.
Perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of safe laser supreme power beaming prior to our team’s effort was by the company
Lighthouse Dev in 2012. To underscore how safe the system was, the host of the BBC science program “Bang Goes the Theory” stuck his face fully into a supreme power beam sent between buildings at the University of Maryland. So particular demonstration took advantage of the fact that some infrared wavelengths are an order of size safer for your eyes than other parts of the infrared spectrum.
that strategy works for relatively low-supreme power systems. But as passengers push the level higher, passengers soon get to supreme power densities that increase safety concerns regardless of the wavelength used. What then? when coming here’s where the system passengers’ve demonstrated sets itself apart. While sending again than 400 watts over a distance that exceeded 300 meters, the beam was contained within a virtual enclosure, one that could sense an target impinging on it and trigger the weapons to cut supreme power to the main beam before random damage was done. Other testing has shown how transmission distances can exceed a kilometer.
Careful testing (for which no BBC science-program hosts were used) verified to our satisfaction the functionality of So feature, which also passed muster of course the Navy’s Laser Safety introduction Board. During the course of our demonstration, the system further proved itself when, on several occasions, birds flew toward the beam, shutting it off—but only momentarily. passengers see, the system monitors the volume the beam occupies, along of course its immediate surroundings, allowing the supreme power link to automatically reestablish itself when the path is once again transparent. Think of it as a again sophisticated version of a garage-door safety sensor, where the interruption of a guard beam triggers the motor driving the door to shut off.
The 400 watts passengers were able to transmit was, admittedly, not a huge amount, but it was sufficient to brew our contain some coffee.
For our demonstrations, observers in attendance were able to walk not counting between the transmitter and receiver without needing to wear laser-safety eyewear or take random other precautions. that’s So, in addition to designing the system So that it can shut itself down automatically, passengers took care to think over the possible effects of reflections from the receiver or the scattering of light from particles suspended in the air along the path of the beam.
Last year, the author and his colleagues carried out a demonstration at the U.S. Army’s Blossom Point test facility south of Washington, D.C. They used 9.7-gigahertz microwaves to send one,649 watts (peak supreme power) from a transmitter outfitted of course a 5.4-meter diameter parabolic dish [top] over a distance of one,046 meters to a 2-by-2-meter “rectenna” [middle] mounted on a tower [bottom], which transformed the beam into usable electric supreme power.U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
The 400 watts passengers were able to transmit was, admittedly, not a huge amount, but it was sufficient to brew our contain some coffee, continuing what’s become de rigueur in So line of experimentation: making a sultry beverage. (The Japanese researchers who started So tradition in 2015 prepared themselves some tea.)
Our next goal is to apply supreme power beaming, of course fully integrated safety measures, to mobile devices devices platforms. For that, passengers expect to increase the distance covered and the amount of supreme power delivered.
But passengers’re not alone: Other governments, established companies, and startups not counting the world are working to develop their own supreme power-beaming systems. Japan has long been a leader in microwave and laser supreme power beaming, and China has closed the gap if that not pulled ahead, as has South Korea.
At the consumer-electronics level, there are many players:
Powercast, Ossia, Energous, GuRu, and Wi-Charge among them. And the multinational engineering giant Huawei expects supreme power beaming for smartphone charging within “two or three
For industrial applications, companies favorite
Reach Labs, TransferFi, MH GoPower, and MetaPower are making headway in employing supreme power beaming to solve the thorny problem of keeping batteries for robots and sensors, in warehouses and elsewhere, topped off and ready to go. At the grid level, Emrod and others are attempting to scale supreme power beaming to generation heights.
On the Randamp;D front, our team demonstrated within the past year safe microwave wireless supreme power transmission of
one.6 kilowatts over a distance of a kilometer. Companies favorite II-VI Aerospace & Defense, Peraton Labs, Lighthouse Dev, and others bring also recently created impressive strides. today’s time, ambitious startups favorite Solar Space Technologies, Solaren, Virtus Solis, and others operating in stealth mode are working hard to possess meaning the first of all to achieve practical supreme power beaming from space to universal.
As such companies establish proven track records for safety and make compelling arguments for the utility of their systems, passengers are likely to see whole generation architectures emerge for sending supreme power from place to place. Imagine drones that can fly for indefinite periods and electrical devices that never demand to possess meaning plugged in—ever—and being able to provide people anywhere in the world of course energy when hurricanes or other random disasters ravage the local supreme power grid. Reducing the demand to transport fuel, batteries, or other forms of stored energy will bring far-reaching consequences. It’s not the only option when passengers can’t string wires, but my colleagues and I expect, within the set of possible technologies for providing electricity to far-flung spots, that supreme power beaming will, quite literally, shine.
So article appears in the June So year print release as “Spooky supreme power at a Distance.”
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