Americans Developed Long-Range Wireless Charging Technology for Military Vehicles
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing an energy technology capable of wirelessly transmitting power over thousands of kilometers to fuel military equipment. The groundbreaking technology, named POWER (Persistent Optical Wireless Energy Relay), is currently in the early stages of development, as reported by We Are the Mighty.
According to developers' plans, the POWER system will be able to transmit 10 kW of electrical power over a distance of 200 km. In the distant future, this system aims to power aircraft and combat vehicles on the battlefield from thousands of kilometers away using specialized lasers. However, engineers at DARPA still need to address several challenges before achieving this goal.
Currently, wireless charging devices use electromagnetic fields to transfer energy from the charger to the battery. However, this method has low power and requires the device being charged to be in proximity to the charging station. Powering something substantial, such as the engines of vehicles, is not feasible with this approach.
The POWER system aims to overcome these limitations by using lasers to transmit energy from a ground source to a remote receiver. This opens up the possibility of powering aircraft and vehicles over significant distances. In theory, this means an aircraft could fly as long as the pilot can control it, eliminating the need for complex and hazardous mid-air refueling.
One of the significant obstacles faced by engineers is the requirement for direct line-of-sight when using lasers to transmit energy. To address this issue and minimize energy loss through the air or water vapor, a network of relays in the upper layers of the atmosphere is planned.
A breakthrough in such technologies would not only benefit the military, but also have numerous civilian applications. It could potentially be the first step towards building solar power stations in space that transmit solar energy directly to consumers on Earth using lasers. It's worth noting that many DARPA developments initially designed for the military have found broad applications in civilian life.