Researchers in Japan have used microwaves to power unmanned aerial vehicles.
Currently, most rockets fly with solid or liquid propellants, which can be up to 90% by weight. However, the authors of a new study have shown an alternative source of energy – microwaves.
Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation. They have energy that can be converted to electricity, just like sunlight to energy.
In a new study, the authors generated electricity to power drones by directing microwaves at them.
In unmanned aerial vehicle experiments, microwave power is transmitted from an antenna on the ground to an antenna on an unmanned aerial vehicle. A rectifier is used to convert radio frequency to DC current, and DC power is used to drive the drone’s motors.
Kohei Shimamura from the University of Tsukuba.
Previous studies have used low frequency waves, but it has been found that as the frequency is increased, the efficiency of energy transfer increases. Therefore, the research team used high frequencies of 28 gigahertz to lift the 0.4 kilogram unmanned aerial vehicle.
During the experiment, the unmanned aerial vehicle captured 30% of the emitted microwaves, and converted 40% of them into electricity.