Available Technology

Remote piloted vehicle powered by beamed radiation

An airborne remote piloted vehicle does not require onboard fuel to greatly extend its endurance and payload capability. Photovoltaic cells are provided on substantially the entire bottom surface of the RPV to receive high intensity radiation beamed up from a ground station. The photovoltaic cells can be made responsive to visible light, infrared light and/or ultraviolet light emitted from lasers that direct narrow, high energy beams, or other directable narrow beams of other wavelengths of high energy radiation, including but not limited to microwaves. The cells convert the beamed up radiation to power at least one electrical motor driven propeller and instrumentation for onboard components including sensors, lasers, radio transmitters, and associated instrumentations. Control signals may also be beamed up or otherwise transmitted to the vehicle to control its transport to and hovering at an on-station location and to activate the onboard components for reconnaissance, monitoring, and relaying data. Since RPV may be relatively small and the beamed-up and relayed radiation may be unseen, RPV may remain undetected on station for prolonged periods of time.

Richard A. Cavanagh

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
May 2, 2002
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