New research has found that microwave beams could be used to keep drones in the air for longer.
Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have been developing technology which could see microwave beams powering drones from the ground.
According to a report from The Engineer, this kind of technology breakthrough could open the door to continuous flight.
This new method will oppose existing wireless power transfer methods which require very close proximity.
The report from The Engineer goes on to describe how the new project, funded by the EPSRC and involving Qinetiq, is developing a technology that can transfer over 200W from around 25m.
Project leader, Dr Neil Buchanan, told The Engineer: “We will be trying to send microwaves the same way you would send a laser beam so it needs to be focused into a fine beam. Current technology doesn’t do that terribly well, the beam seems to be too broad.”
Describing the new technology, he added: “It is an antenna that is specially designed to send energy in one particular direction, towards the target. It has been developed for satellite communication, and it’s something we feel is transferable to wireless power.”
Consequently, aerospace engineers at the university have now been given the task of keeping drones airborne when using the wireless system.