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DARPA intenționează să încarce fără fir dronele în timpul zborului prin transmisie de putere PDF Imprimare
Duminică, 02 Iunie 2024 18:51

                            That would be a long way to power-beam some juice into an EV drone's battery pack. The MQ9-Reaper – which uses an internal combustion engine currently –

    DARPA has committed further funding for far-field wireless power transfer – or power-beaming – to wirelessly charge drones in flight without them ever having to abandon mission to recharge or swap out dead batteries, potentially saving critical missions.

     Dr. Ifana Mahbub, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at The University of Texas, had already received the Young Faculty Award from DARPA in 2021, giving her US$500,000 over two years for her project. The fellowship offers an additional $250,000 in funding to continue development of the power-beaming technology.

    You may already be familiar with wireless charging technology; some cell phones already use near-field wireless technology to top up your battery by using low-frequency electromagnetic waves over a very short distance. It seems like black magic, but in practice, it's not all that complicated. The charging unit is a coil that creates an electromagnetic field and the receiving end – like the coil in your phone – captures the electromagnetic waves which creates an electrical current that is then fed into the battery.

 

 

Mahbub and her team are researching far-field technology to send electromagnetic waves much further. Specifically to eliminate entirely the need for a drone to return to base (RTB) for a battery swap or to be charged, which can waste valuable time and resources, not to mention potentially being detrimental to the mission at hand. Why recall a UAV when you can simply charge its battery while it's still in flight?

One of Mahbub's biggest hurdles is preventing electromagnetic beams from scattering and losing power over large distances. Mahbub has come up with a clever idea of using phased-array antennas; a system of transmitters and smaller antennas to direct the electromagnetic beam along a specific path. The tech she's creating uses the telemetry of a UAV in real-time to ensure line-of-sight connection for maximum charging.

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*Source The University of Texas, Dallas

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