Scientists from the NRL – Naval Research Laboratory, a research unit of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy, wirelessly transmitted 1.6 kilowatts of electricity on a kilometer to demonstrate the feasibility of terrestrial microwave transmission.
To do this, they turned the electricity into microwaves, which were then sent to a receiver in a directed beam. To accurately focus the microwave beam, the researchers used a transmitting antenna. According to Science-news.co, this is “the most significant demonstration of power transmission in almost 50 years.” Microwave power transmission is the point-to-point transfer of electricity into free space through a directed microwave beam. The project was funded by the Operational Energy Capacity Improvement Fund of the Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Engineering and is called “Safe and Continuous Power Transmission – Microwave (SCOPE-M)”.
Feasibility of terrestrial microwave transmission
The microwave beam is received with a rectifier antenna, which consists of a large number of small microwave antennas. They operate in the X band, with a frequency range of 7 to 11.2 GHz (GHz). A diode then converts the incoming electromagnetic waves back into DC electrical power. In the demonstration system, NRL used the 10 GHZ band because the technology is considered to be mature and available at low cost.
Brian Tierney, Ph.D., SCOPE-M Electronic Engineer, said: “Although SCOPE-M was a terrestrial power transmission link, it was good proof of the concept of a space power transmission link.”
In the future, the US Department of Defense would like to use the technology for wireless power transmission from space. According to the plans of the American army, the troops deployed abroad are to be supplied with energy through energy transmission. These would then be independent of fuel deliveries. China is also working on a similar concept, but it is intended for civilian use.
Christopher Rodenbeck, Ph.D., head of the Advanced Concepts Group, NRL, said power transmission is the ultimate green technology. Unlike other sources of clean energy, the power transmitted from space to Earth can provide energy continuously 24/7 – 365 days a year.