Validation of Laser Power Beaming Applications with Enlarged Laser Beam Diameters Minimizing Hazardous Operation

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Army Cyber Institute, Photonics Research Center

Publication Date

Spring 5-12-2019

Publication Title

IEEE SoutheastCon 2019

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Successful implementation of laser power beaming for the wireless transfer of electrical power will enable diverse applications, including extended operation time of remote ground vehicles, aerial drones and remote sensors. However, the required lasers are a cause of concern for the safe operation of such laser power beaming systems. Tissue damage to eyes and skin from direct beam exposure as well as the general burning hazards from these class 4 lasers need be addressed. In an attempt resolve these risks and validate LPB applications with readily available components, laboratory tests of this wireless power transfer method were performed. It was demonstrated that a 10-watt 976nm continuous wave laser utilized in conjunction with monocrystalline silicon photovoltaics successfully powered a small remote-controlled vehicle and an Arduino temperature sensor respectively in the lab while skin hazards from direct beam exposure were eliminated with an enlarged laser beam diameter of 9 cm. Component configurations that allowed for battery charging were also demonstrated.

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