Laser charging of drones will be tested for the first time in Switzerland

Laser charging of drones will be tested for the first time in Switzerland

Laser charging will be used to recharge the drone’s battery

Until recently, one of the main problems with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles remained low power reserve – they need to be recharged, but this requires returning the device to base. Of course, in the performance of important missions, this will not suit anyone. The Federal Polytechnic school of Lausanne (EPFL) solved this problem by creating a device such as laser charging – it can be used directly from the ground, affecting the batteries of drones. Moreover, in the future, this technology can be very useful for the transfer of information and energy to satellites.

Laser charging will solve the problem of drone power supply

Unmanned devices become more common, and the range of tasks that they can perform grows. But while the technical development of such mechanisms is well under way, a major radical problem remains. Drone batteries run down relatively quickly, so it can not fly for a long time without replenishing capacity. Many companies around the world try to solve the problem of non-stop charging system, including in the United States. As for EPFL, in this Swiss research and training centre laboratory of Diamond Lake engaged in studies.

Its decisions are based on the use of artificial diamonds, which it also grows. Researchers explain that in fact, laser beams do not differ in directness, as it may seem to an ignorant person. As you move away from the original point, the beam gradually expands. Diamonds can help to cope with this.

The laboratory was able to create such rays that are not distorted at a distance of hundreds of meters. However, the laser power in this case is only a few tens of watts. For optics, a square artificial diamond measuring a few millimeters is used. Since the beam is not very powerful, it is safe for human health and does not burn the skin, even if you accidentally fall under its action. If it is necessary to recharge large multiton, experts suggest not to increase power, and use from the batch of lasers.

A working prototype for charging quadrocopters is planned to be created in the coming months, and commercial production can be launched in 2020, according to TASS Agency. However, Swiss engineers are convinced that drones will still need another battery that does not work with the laser system, in case it breaks, and from the ground to recharge the device will not work.

A few years ago, the issue of contactless charging UAV has already been considered by many scientists. For example, Imperial College in London offered its solution based on the works of the legendary Nikola Tesla. To replenish the capacity of the battery, it is proposed to use induction, which became known thanks to the scientist 100 years ago. The British hung ring of copper on the drone, which serves as the receiving energy of the antenna. The transmitter from the ground creates an electromagnetic field that recharges small quadrocopters within 10 cm radius. Of course, this is not a very long distance in the commercial use operating is meaningless, but may be further developed, and the distance will increase.