SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaserMotive, an independent research and development company specializing in laser power beaming technology, today announced that it has successfully tested its first climber prototype for its entry in the 2008 Space Elevator Games.
“We’re pleased at the results of our test, and are working to further refine our technology”
Details of the testing were not released; however, the company said that the test exceeded the speed and distance requirements set by the Spaceward Foundation for the $2 million NASA-sponsored prize for this year’s Power Beaming Challenge. According to the rules of the competition, the winning entry must power a vehicle up a ribbon a vertical distance of 1 km at a minimum speed of 5 m/s using only power beamed from a station on the ground.
“We’re pleased at the results of our test, and are working to further refine our technology,” said Dr. Jordin Kare, chief engineer for the project. Dr. Kare, formerly with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and the recipient of a NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts grant to study a near-term form of laser launch using arrays of relatively low powered lasers, is one of the leading experts on laser propulsion. He co-founded the company in 2006 with Tom Nugent, former director of research for the LiftPort Group – the Space Elevator Companies.
Part of the NASA Centennial Challenges, the Space Elevator Games focus on technologies with the potential to expand the space program, including power beaming for wireless energy transfer of energy. This is the third year the competition has been held. To date, no team has met the requirements to win the prize in the Power Beaming Challenge.
“We believe our test bodes well for the company and places us as one of the top candidates to win this year’s prize,” said Tom Nugent, Project Manager.
Laser power beaming is an emerging technology that enables the wireless transfer of energy using laser light with a wide variety of commercial applications, from unmanned aerial vehicles to solar energy in space. In the Space Elevator, a revolutionary way to send cargo and humans into space, laser power beaming would be used to power vehicles up and down a high strength tether stretching 62,000 miles.
Headquartered in Kent, Wash., LaserMotive is a privately-held R&D company specializing in laser power beaming for commercial applications. The company’s mission is to be the first to bring the technology to commercial reality. Collectively, its staff have more than 300 years of relevant expertise. Its industry partners include some of the leading companies in aerospace and lasers, including The Boeing Company, DILAS, Andrews Space and Glendale. For more information, please visit the company website at www.lasermotive.com.