November 03, 2010 09:00 ET
LaserMotive Achieves More Than Half a Dozen Technical Firsts During Its Record Breaking Laser Powered Flight at the Future of Flight Aviation Center
KENT, WA--(Marketwire - November 3, 2010) - LaserMotive, an R&D company specializing in laser power beaming and winner of the 2009 NASA-sponsored Power Beaming Competition, has additional details on the technical records set during its recent history-making laser-powered flight at the Future of Flight Aviation Center.
The flight, undertaken by LaserMotive and its partner German robotic helicopter manufacturer Ascending Technologies, was the longest laser powered flight on record at 12 hours, 26 minutes and 56.9 seconds. The flight set the following records:
- Longest hovering flight duration for an untethered electric vehicle: Limited only by the venue; the Ascending Technologies Pelican quadrocopter and the LaserMotive power system were both capable of continuing indefinitely
- Endurance record for any VTOL aircraft in this weight class
- Longest beamed-energy-powered flight of any type
In addition, the flight marked the following key milestones towards operational laser-powered UAVs:
- Repeated fully automatic acquisition of UAV by laser tracking system
- In-flight battery recharging
- Automatic position hold in beam, with the laser tracking system controlling the UAV position
- "Class I" operation, meeting US and international laser exposure limits everywhere on the ground
"Today's flight represents an important achievement for the future of flight," said Tom Nugent, president and CEO of LaserMotive. "What LaserMotive and Ascending Technologies accomplished today has never been done in the history of flight, and the potential impact is enormous, not only as an endless source of power for air and space craft but for opening up new capabilities for them as well."
"We are pleased to have been partner in this historic occasion," said Jan Stumpf, CEO of Ascending Technologies. "LaserMotive's laser power beaming system has the potential to open up new uses and new markets for unmanned aerial vehicles such as ours, offering new opportunities not only for our company but for the industry as a whole."
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. For more information on LaserMotive, please visit the company website at www.lasermotive.com.
About Ascending Technologies
Ascending Technologies GmbH is based in Krailling, close to Munich, in Germany. It was founded in 2007 by four engineering students and has revolutionized the flying robotics research by providing unmatched UAVs to R&D groups worldwide. For more information please visit the Ascending Technologies website at www.asctec.de.