Introducing LaserMotive’s FAQ Series – How does wireless power via laser work?

Written by on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

As we mentioned earlier this year, LaserMotive is listening to you, our friends, followers, and the general public and is answering some of the most frequently asked questions about laser power beaming, or, as we also call it, wireless power via lasers. We’re proud to post our answer to our first question: How does wireless power via lasers work?

We sometimes describe our wireless power solution as an “invisible extension cord” because, just like a real extension cord, it supplies power at a distance from your electrical outlet.

In our case, the process works much like solar power, where the sun shines on a photovoltaic receiver (solar cell) that converts the sunlight to electricity. We take electricity from a source such as a wall plug or generator and convert it into light (via laser). That light is transmitted over a long distance to a photovoltaic receiver that converts the light back into electricity, where it can be used to run a motor, charge a battery, or anything else you’d want to run on electricity!

The significant differences between our wireless power solution and solar power are that laser light is much more intense than sunlight, you can deliver the power anywhere that is in line of sight, and power can be delivered 24 hours per day.


  1. Sandor Holly says:

    Subject: May I get a report (a description) of details of your endurance test you did in October, 2011

    I saw the video presentation showing your success and your partner’s success (Ascending Technologies) to keep a quadro-copter up in the air for over 12 hrs in an endurance demonstration.
    I am sure you and AscTec produced a report of this test and I would very much appreciate getting a copy.
    I would like to know some technical details of your demo, such as the type of laser you used, its wavelength, its power output in watts, the laser beam diameter, etc.) also technical details of the “receiver” – what kind of solar panel you used, Si, GaAs, etc. – the size of the panel, the efficiency of power conversion you were able to get (from incident laser power to electrical power) and what percentage of that electric power you needed for running the 4 propellers of the Pelican ? Another question, I hope that your “technical report” covers is a description of the pointing and tracking system you used.

    Since these tests were done some 18 months ago, – this is slowly becoming “old technology” (for you)
    and (I hope) that Laser Motive has been diligently inventing newer – even more spectacular – technologies.

    If you have such a report of this Endurance Test (Oct, 2010) I would very much appreciate getting a copy

    Sandor Holly
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

  2. Tom Nugent says:

    Our public report on the demonstration was published as part of the proceedings of the 2011 AUVSI conference. The title of the report is “12-Hour Hover: Flight Demonstration Of A Laser Powered Quadrocopter”

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