LaserMotive was founded in early 2007 by a team of scientists and engineers who worked nights and weekends to build a system capable of winning the NASA Centennial Challenges Power Beaming Challenge. After success in that effort, with the win in November 2009, the company received the $900,000 competition prize. Those funds seeded the beginning of the effort to commercialize wireless power delivery.
The next big milestone was 11 months later, in October 2010, when the company partnered with Ascending Technologies to fly an Ascending quadrocoptor for 12.5 hours (with a five-minute battery), which was a flight duration of 150 times battery life.
In August 2011, LaserMotive commenced work on multiple contracts for NASA’s Ride the Light program, to design the architecture to use laser power beaming to power satellites in orbit and launch rockets without combustible rocket fuel.
The summer of 2012 saw a pair of milestones. In July 2012, LaserMotive and Lockheed Martin demonstrated laser power beaming indoors for 48 hours on Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Stalker small UAS, a duration of 24 times battery life. Following that test, in August 2012 the Stalker UAS was taken outdoors for a series of flights, validating the power beaming technology in a variety of real-world conditions.
Our first commercial product, the Mark 1 “Micro” Power over Fiber system, was released in December 2012.
For the last three years, the company has been developing extensive relationships with various groups within the Department of Defense, major defense contractors, and other commercial firms, as it educates potential users and builds market demand for laser power.
Looking ahead to 2013, we expect to bring our disruptive technology to field testing for our commercial and government customers.
For a more detailed history, see our corporate backgrounder.