DARPA’s POWER Program: Paving the Way for Wireless Power Beaming

By: | September 13th, 2023

Image by DARPA

DARPA is developing the Persistent Optical Wireless Energy Relay (POWER) program to transform energy distribution through airborne power transfer.

Wireless Power will make all the Cables Disappear!

The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has revealed the primary contractors selected for the initial phase of its ambitious program.

For the initial phase of the POWER program, DARPA has selected three teams, each led by RTX Corporation, Draper Laboratory, and BEAM Company. These teams will be responsible for designing and advancing wireless optical power relays. The program’s objectives revolve around showcasing the essential components required to establish a robust, high-speed energy network operating at the speed of light.

The airborne power transfer concept was first envisioned by Nikola Tesla nearly a century ago. However, Tesla’s ideas about wireless power transmission were ahead of their time.

DARPA is turning Nikola Tesla’s wireless energy dream into reality!

If DARPA achieves success, this will mark the most momentous shift in energy transfer since the inception of electrification nearly 150 years ago. The airborne power transfer could make it possible to power drones, vehicles, devices, and even buildings without the need for wires.

Airborne power transfer has the potential to revolutionize the way we use energy.

Power beaming could reduce the size and cost of future aircraft by greatly reducing the need for fuel and engine space. Airborne power transfer holds promise for enhancing drones’ endurance and electric vehicle range, addressing battery limitations in both cases. Drones benefit from extended flight times, while electric vehicles can charge while in motion, aiding emission reduction efforts.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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