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SPIE 2011: Laser solution for long-endurance UAVs

27th April 2011 - 22:00 GMT | by Tony Osborne in Orlando, Florida


A US company pioneering the use of lasers to recharge the batteries of UAVs in flight says such a system could be potentially fielded as early as next year.

LaserMotive is demonstrating the ability to 'power beam' via laser several UAV aircraft, including rotary-wing vehicles, at the 2011 SPIE Defence Security & Sensing exposition in Orlando.

In recent experiments the company was able to keep a rotary-wing quadrocopter UAV constantly airborne for 12 hours. The machine only had a battery endurance of five minutes and would return to the beam in-flight and recharge.

LaserMotive president, Tom Nugent, said: 'We see

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Tony Osborne


Tony Osborne

Tony was deputy editor of Defence Helicopter and Rotorhub magazines before joining Aviation Week in …

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