LaserMotive To Demonstrate Laser Powered Helicopter


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LaserMotive To Demonstrate Laser Powered Helicopter

Mike Mitchell

October 21, 2010 - LaserMotive, an independent R&D company specializing in laser power beaming and winner of the 2009 NASA-sponsored Power Beaming Competition, announced it will attempt to break its own world record for laser-powered helicopter flight at the Future of Flight Aviation Center located at 8415 Paine Field Blvd. in Mukilteo, Wash., starting Wednesday, October 27. 

The flight, which will consist of an unmanned "quadrocopter" free-flying inside of the Future of Flight Aviation Center, will commence in the early evening on Wednesday, October 27 and will end on Thursday morning by 8:00 AM. The quadrocopter will be powered solely with laser power beaming the wireless transfer of energy over distances using laser light to create an endless source of power to the aircraft.


Previously, LaserMotive set the world record for the longest-duration laser-powered helicopter flight when it flew a tethered remote-controlled helicopter up to six hours at a time for four days at the AUVSI Conference in Denver, Colo. "The demonstration will mark our first public display of a free-flying unmanned aerial vehicle powered by lasers, and represents an important step forward in the future development of flight," Tom Nugent, President and Co-founder of LaserMotive. "As such, we feel that the Future of Flight is the perfect place to hold this groundbreaking demo." 

"We are very pleased to host this record breaking event, which could genuinely impact the future of flight," said Barry Smith, Executive Director of the Future of Flight Foundation. "For us, the innovation behind the technology is what makes this project so meaningful and we applaud LaserMotive's achievements as the leader in the field of beamed power." 

The LaserMotive laser power beaming system is based on technology the company developed for its winning entry in the 2009 Power Beaming Challenge for a purse prize of nearly $1 million, marking the first time any team ever won the Challenge. The demonstration is part of the company's long-term strategy to develop a full-scale laser power system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- currently one of the largest growth sectors in the aerospace and defense industries with an expected growth rate worldwide to $11.5 billion annually by 2020. 

Headquartered in Kent, Wash., LaserMotive is a privately-held R&D company specializing in laser power beaming for commercial applications. The company was co-founded in 2006 by Dr. Jordin Kare, one of the foremost experts on laser propulsion, and Tom Nugent, former Research Director for LiftPort Group. Its industry partners include some of the leading companies in aerospace and lasers, including The Boeing Company, DILAS, MS Kennedy, Ophir Spiricon, Zaber Technologies, and In-Tec.


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