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Video: Are Drone-Powered Power Plants Coming to Your Airspace?

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jhankwitz
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Drone Power
jhankwitz   12/13/2013 9:10:52 AM
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This project will reflect a considerable advancement in technology.  Stories of airplanes even maintaining themselves at those altitudes for a day or more make international headlines.  To be able to maintain themselves as well as support the weight of transmission equipment and energy collectors will be a giant leap forward.

.

naperlou
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Re: Drone Power
naperlou   12/13/2013 12:05:52 PM
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jahnkwitz, you make a very good point.  Wouldn't it be better to have a platform such as a lighter than air craft, which can remain on station and has been proven?  The real technology that makes something like this viable is the transmission of power using microwaves or lasers.  The choice of a technology to keep the platofrm aloft should be the subject of an engineering trade study, not a business plan item. 

78RPM
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Re: Drone Power
78RPM   12/13/2013 12:21:50 PM
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Good ideas, naperlou. I know we transmit communication signals via microwave, but wouldn't a useful power source involve intense microwave radiation or lasers? Would this pose a danger to living things and aircraft?

jhankwitz
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Re: Drone Power
jhankwitz   12/13/2013 2:27:30 PM
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I'd hate to be in an airplane that accidently flies through a multi-megawatt download laser or microwave beam.

far911
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Re: Drone Power
far911   12/14/2013 1:56:50 AM
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Same here.

far911
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Re: Drone Power
far911   12/14/2013 1:58:30 AM
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I doubt it.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 5:50:31 AM
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Yes, jhankwitz, I agree that this project is going to take a serious leap in technology. This isn't something that's going to happen tomorrow, but I think it can happen at some point and would have a lot of benefits. I do think a lot about safety concerns, though, and this system better be foolproof before it takes to the air.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 5:52:55 AM
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Also a good point, Lou. I think everyone who commented here is right about some of the technology issues that arise with this sort of deployment, and that perhaps there might be better alteratives. Maybe the team developing this system will also realize this as they are working on this project.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Drone Power
Elizabeth M   12/16/2013 6:08:41 AM
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I think I am a bit confused about where this thread is going. So what is it that you doubt, far911? That the microwaves would cause a hazard for aircraft or people? Or that this technology is viable?

LetoAtreidesII
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Platinum
Re: Drone Power
LetoAtreidesII   12/16/2013 9:11:36 AM
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interesting idea, I love to see Sci-Fi of old come to life.  Bigger worry than the microwave or laser link frying planes or the ground is maintaining a fleet of these in the air.

What happens when:

    the link dies and now you have a drone sitting up there on its own uncontrolled.

   power fails and now a drone is falling from 50k feet.

   radiation levels at 50k feet are far higher how well will the electronics hold up.

I think I will put my money on space based power generation.  A failure there is less likely to come crashing down without warning. 

Good idea though and who know they may overcome all the design hurdles.

 

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