Business

August 7, 2012

Lockheed Martin performs first ever outdoor flight test of laser powered UAS

PALMDALE, Calif. – Lockheed Martin and LaserMotive, Inc., have completed a series of flight tests of the Stalker Unmanned Aerial System to further validate the performance of an innovative laser power system. These tests mark the first-ever outdoor flight of a UAS powered by laser.

Stalker is a small, silent UAS used by Special Operations Forces since 2006 to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. In a recent wind tunnel test, the UAS demonstrated 48 hours of continuous flight powered by this innovative laser system.

“This series of proof-of-concept tests took place in a remote desert location where environmental factors like wind and heat were constants. Not only did we demonstrate that the laser powered Stalker could perform well in this type of environment, we flew during both day and night without incident,” said Tom Koonce, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Stalker program manager. “Ultimately we hope to provide our customers with remarkably long endurance to extend and expand the mission profiles possible for a small UAS like Stalker.”

For the demonstration, the Stalker was fitted with a lightweight photovoltaic receiver and on-board power management hardware. The ground-based laser transmitter was based on LaserMotive’s hardware developed for its winning entry in the 2009 NASA Centennial Challenge. Accomplishments of these proof-of-concept flights include:

  • Demonstrated net positive power to Stalker in flight, at ranges up to 600 meters.
  • Proved that the laser did not damage the Stalker and that the addition of the laser receiver did not impact its normal flight operations or aerodynamics.
  • Operated multiple test flights in a range of desert conditions (day and night, high temperatures, and strong winds), demonstrating the ruggedness of the Stalker-mounted laser receiver power system.
  • The beam director tracked the receiver for long periods, with centimeter accuracy at 500 meters, despite turbulence and aircraft maneuvers.
  • Met all operational and safety requirements, including coordination with the Laser Clearinghouse and flight operations.

“We’re excited to work with Lockheed Martin to validate the ability of lasers to power Stalker in the field,” said Tom Nugent, president of LaserMotive. “Wireless power via laser is an important emerging technology, and I look forward to continuing to work together to further prove this technology in future experiments.”

Headquartered in Kent, Wash., LaserMotive is a privately held research and development company specializing in wireless power via laser for commercial applications.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 

 
insitu-scan-eagle1

Insitu announces ScanEagle 2 – the next generation of ScanEagle platform

  From its booth at the Euronaval Exhibition and Conference in Paris, Insitu Oct. 29 announced ScanEagle 2, the next generation of its revolutionary ScanEagle platform. Leveraging lessons learned from more than 800,000 ope...
 
 

DOD, Lockheed Martin announce principle agreement F-35 purchase

The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement in principle for the production of 43 F-35 Lightning II aircraft.  Officials anticipate the Low-Rate Initial Production lot 8 (LRIP 8) contract to be finalized in the coming weeks.  The contract is for fiscal year 2014 with deliveries beginning in 2016. Cost details...
 
 

Boeing delivers Emirates’ 100th 777-300ER

Boeing and Emirates Airline are celebrating the delivery of the airline’s 100th 777-300ER (Extended Range), marking another milestone in a partnership that began over two decades ago when the Dubai-based airline ordered its first 777. With this delivery, Emirates will have 142 777s in operation and is the only airline in the world to operate...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>