The quadrocopter, the laser powered helicopter stayed aloft at 30 feets for 12 hours using energy beamed up to it by lasers, thereby setting a world record. It is developed by LaserMotive, an independent R&D company. The company claims that they could power their Pelican quadrocopter for at least 10 times or even 20 times the duration possible with batteries alone. The remote-controlled carrier is equipped with photovoltaic panels which absorb laser light.
It is likely that the new technology will utilized by the military to extend the time that unmanned drones and other aerial vehicles can spend in the air. Unmanned aerial vehicles are becoming one of the largest growth sectors in the defense industries, says Inhabitat. The growth rate is estimated as of $11.5 billion annually by 2020.
It also broke the manufacturers’ previous record. LaserMotive set the world record for the longest-duration laser-powered helicopter flight earlier.
Their tethered remote-controlled helicopter hovered up to six hours at a time for four days at the AUVSI Conference in Denver, Colo. LaserMotive is specializing in laser power beaming, was previously the winner of the 2009 Power Beaming Competition sponsored by NASA.
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