Military Review

Chinese scientists announce development of drone that can stay in the air 'forever'

41
Chinese scientists announce development of drone that can stay in the air 'forever'

According to the Hong Kong edition of SCMP, Chinese scientists have announced that they have managed to create a drone that can be kept in the air “forever” thanks to high-energy laser beams.


The publication notes that in many countries they are working on the creation of powerful laser systems for the destruction of drones, but in the Celestial Empire they decided to use them for other purposes. The new drone was developed by scientists from the Northwest Polytechnic University of China (NPU), led by Professor Li Xuelong.

The essence of the development of Chinese scientists is that the laser beam is used not only to track the drone, but also to remotely power the drone. To do this, a photoelectric conversion module was installed on the device, which converts light energy into electricity.

The scientists said that the tests of “eternally hanging” drones in the air were successful and they were able to provide wireless transmission of energy over a considerable distance.

The NPU noted that the development of new drones, where scientists have successfully combined the autonomous charging process with intelligent signal transmission and processing technology, has shown the unlimited endurance potential of optical drive drones.

Chinese scientists claim that the new drone is equipped with a mechanism to automatically adjust the laser power to a safe range if an obstacle is detected in the beam path, writes SCMP.
Author:
Photos used:
Wikipedia/Doodybutch
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  1. voice of reason
    voice of reason 9 January 2023 10: 11
    -2
    Well, it looks more like a theoretical calculation, which the popularizers misunderstood. Yes, in principle, energy can be transmitted along a laser beam. but to overcome the atmosphere, the power of the laser installation will have to be made such that the whole station must feed it. And a small nuance of the drone will then be tied to a certain point in space and depend on the reception of this feeding beam itself. Well, and probably a bunch of all sorts of pitfalls. In the form of impermeability of the atmosphere and low efficiency of reverse processing for the operation of propellers, if it is made according to the classical scheme. In short, theory is theory, and up to the practical implementation of a compact flying cheap drone with just laser power, about the same as before a cold fusion reactor. One step a couple of centuries long ... Rather, air drones-airships will soon be revived, possibly in a compact version using non-combustible gas such as helium.
    1. APASUS
      APASUS 9 January 2023 10: 31
      -1
      Quote: voice of reason
      Well, it looks more like a theoretical calculation, which the popularizers misunderstood. Yes, in principle, energy can be transmitted along a laser beam. but to overcome the atmosphere, the power of the laser installation will have to be made such that the whole station must feed it. And a small nuance of the drone will then be tied to a certain point in space and depend on the reception of this feeding beam itself.

      The air around the laser beam is ionized and is capable of transmitting electricity. I used this idea in a slightly different plane, but in principle it is possible
      1. igorbrsv
        igorbrsv 9 January 2023 10: 39
        0
        This is already a beam of plasma, it seems to me
        1. astepanov
          astepanov 9 January 2023 12: 08
          +3
          When it seems you need to be baptized. From a laser pointer, too, a beam of plasma? Plasma can form only at a very high power density, and then the beam is scattered by the plasma. And is it necessary?
          1. A small drone only needs hundreds of watts of power to operate. This means that the power of the power source of a ground-based laser can be a few kilowatts: a simple household generator.
          2. The scattering of the beam in the air does not play a role: the task is not to cut the drone, and the spot from the beam should be in the dimensions of the photoconverter.
          3. The drone can be designed to solve non-military tasks, but other tasks: protecting the territory, observing fires, it can carry relay equipment and over-the-horizon antennas.
          4. If the laser operates in the IR range, this significantly reduces the beam scattering.
          1. topol717
            topol717 9 January 2023 13: 34
            +1
            Quote: astepanov
            1. A small drone only needs hundreds of watts of power to operate. This means that the power of the power source of a ground-based laser can be a few kilowatts: a simple household generator.

            Hundreds of watts is a few tens of kg of payload. why so powerful?
            a couple of tens of watts and with good efficiency, a 100-watt laser is enough, but the whole difficulty is in obtaining a more or less normal efficiency of the photoconverter, at least 10 percent.
          2. The comment was deleted.
    2. yuriy55
      yuriy55 9 January 2023 11: 35
      +1
      Quote: voice of reason
      Yes, in principle, energy can be transmitted along a laser beam. but to overcome the atmosphere, the power of the laser installation will have to be made such that the whole station must feed it.

      yes
      Quote: APASUS
      The air around the laser beam is ionized and is capable of transmitting electricity. I used this idea in a slightly different plane,but in principle it is possible


      The essence, which the authors of the innovation outlined recently in a scientific article, is as follows: by means of an installation located on Earth, it is necessary to generate laser beams with a total power of about 100 megawatts. They will be sent into orbit, where the device will be launched - the payload, as scientists call it. The rays will catch the reflector and redirect to the heating chamber. There they will heat the hydrogen plasma to several tens of thousands of degrees, which will create the so-called laser-thermal thrust, escaping through the nozzle, and as a result, quickly accelerate the payload to 17 kilometers per second. It will be possible to fly to Mars at this speed in 45 days, and to the Moon in just 8 hours. Including braking, of course. Thus, in fact, it will turn out directly, as in the song: "without help, but through the mediation."

      Here, moving on a beam of light
      Without help, but through,
      I’m flying to Tau Ceti
      To deal with her on the spot.

  2. Two
    Two 9 January 2023 10: 15
    +5
    hi Massoviki - entertainers! And smokes, fogs with rains!?
    1. credo
      credo 9 January 2023 10: 51
      +1
      Theoretically, an ordinary aircraft equipped with a fuel injection unit in the air can fly forever.
      In addition, I remember not so long ago - if I'm not mistaken - the Swiss tested an aircraft on photocells with recharging in flight from the sun, but so far it has not gone into production. Apparently, the operators do not yet see the point in using it.

      What the Chinese invented there is known only to them, but an alien drone forever hanging in the air is very dangerous for any enemy, so apparently now scientists from other countries will take care of creating a continuous vertical invisible wall capable of "extinguishing" any flying objects ahead of time preventing them from penetrating into foreign airspace . bully
      1. Azim77
        Azim77 9 January 2023 11: 29
        +6
        Quote: credo
        an alien drone forever hanging in the air is very dangerous for any enemy

        Alternatively, a Mylar helium balloon can hang for a month. For many tasks, this is "eternity". Therefore, it is easier and cheaper to combine this ball as a lifting force - with a drone, the driving force of which is used only for horizontal movements. Then the flight time of such a hybrid drone should increase significantly.

    2. Vasia
      Vasia 9 January 2023 20: 23
      +1
      Quote: Dos
      Massoviki - entertainers! And smokes, fogs with rains!?

      So I understand that it must also be in the line of sight, you can’t fly that far, especially in a city or in a forest ...
  3. Fisherman
    Fisherman 9 January 2023 10: 18
    0
    hydrogen cells are the future of aviation, and all sorts of "recharges on the go" are theoretical fun.
    1. 2112vda
      2112vda 9 January 2023 10: 23
      +6
      CIAM also thought so and "oversaturated" our troops with UAVs with fuel cells powered by hydrogen. All of Ukraine "groans" from these silent and invisible reconnaissance and attack drones. In 2015, CIAM even won a competition in this topic with its own fuel cells, or there will be more.
      1. Fisherman
        Fisherman 9 January 2023 10: 52
        0
        you confuse warm with red .... salty and white are also different.
  4. Adrey
    Adrey 9 January 2023 10: 19
    +5
    Chinese scientists announce development of drone that can stay in the air 'forever'

    Did they really come up with a hot air balloon?! belay laughing
  5. SwR9
    SwR9 9 January 2023 10: 25
    +1
    There is a project by the Plekhanov brothers, when a drone can actually also hang "forever" charging over special towers. https://youtu.be/dfjG6B4rcJc
  6. Leader_Barmaleev
    Leader_Barmaleev 9 January 2023 10: 40
    +7
    There is no better target indicator than laser illumination. So "forever" this drone can only hang where it does not interfere with anyone. And in the war zone, his life is no more than a minute.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 9 January 2023 11: 24
      -1
      It depends on what height.
      If it hangs at an altitude of 5 km, then to shoot it down
      you will need a very expensive rocket.
      And the launch unmasks the launcher.
      Meanwhile, from a height of 5 km, modern optics provide
      detailed observation of a vast territory.
      1. Leader_Barmaleev
        Leader_Barmaleev 9 January 2023 11: 38
        +7
        1. for observation from a height of 5 km. ordinary cheap drones that change each other, or a balloon are enough.
        2. The cost of an energy-beam-energy converter may be more expensive than a rocket.
        3. Eliminating the possibility of detailed observation of the terrain costs missiles - it is not a drone that is exchanged for a missile, but a missile for intelligence.
        4. The laser beam not only illuminates the drone, but also, with an accuracy of up to a centimeter, indicates the place where the laser is located, the generator to the laser, a calculation is possible, so that the rocket may not fly to the drone.
        Each of these points individually makes the idea of ​​such energy supply meaningless, and all together ... But I noticed that you like to object and argue - not the worst quality, but you also need to analyze.
    2. gsev
      gsev 10 January 2023 17: 24
      +1
      And if the reconnaissance drone is not constantly fed with energy, but intermittently. Completed a reconnaissance flight for half an hour. Flew off to the rear, hovering over the charging station, which is hidden in a bunker, camouflaged or constantly moving. It was powered by energy for half an hour and again flew towards the enemy. In addition, this technique allows you to automate the process of servicing drones. Such drones hang on the border and monitor the area and on the beyond of the neighbor for 40-50 kilometers. And the information from them is transmitted to the central post. In the navy. A light ship can be equipped with a drone that will help detect targets at a distance 10 times greater than from a ship in a storm and pitching.
      1. Leader_Barmaleev
        Leader_Barmaleev 11 January 2023 04: 59
        0
        If the drone needs to fly to the rear for charging, then it is easier for it to sit down and be powered from the outlet - nothing fundamentally changes, but it costs a thousand times cheaper. And if you need a permanent optical post, then 30 kilometers from the front line (on our side, of course) place several tethered balloons, raise them 30 kilometers and look at enemy territory for almost 1000 km. Anything cheaper than laser converters will come out and more effective at times.
  7. igorbrsv
    igorbrsv 9 January 2023 10: 41
    0
    Wouldn't it be easier to use directional high-frequency radiation request
    I really don't really
    1. Leader_Barmaleev
      Leader_Barmaleev 9 January 2023 11: 04
      +2
      Wouldn't it be easier to use directional high-frequency radiation

      So laser radiation is one of the highest frequencies - these are terahertz and higher. It's just that the topic of energy transfer by rays is cyclically activated, then withering again. The fact is that this idea is good for a vacuum, preferably absolute, and in the air with its humidity, dust, smoke, one garbage comes out - then the beam will scatter, then the plasmoid will form, then it will caress someone with resonance. So no, it's not easier.
  8. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 9 January 2023 11: 21
    0
    Well, this is Chinese "know-how"! Chinese ... because, in principle, such an idea has long been known in the world! What were they not going to "feed"! And a laser beam, and a maser ... and a radio beam of a powerful radar! The idea "has the right to be"! Options for implementation can be varied! 1. It can also be a "laser" plane flying up to a "chargeable" UAV ... 2. and the principle of a laser "gun" from the SDI program [a laser on the ground ... "reflecting" a mirror ... (in space, atmosphere ...)] By the way, there is an idea for a "laser" rocket! (In a rocket there is a kind of solid propellant rocket engine, that is, a "checker" of the working substance (!) A powerful laser beam is "aimed" at the nozzle, under the influence of which the working substance "evaporates" ... a jet stream is formed that creates jet thrust!)
    By the way, there are projects and, it seems, some prototypes of UAVs with FOCL! Quite acceptable for short-range tactical "quads"! And control, and you can try photoelectric "feeding"! From myself, I can remind you of the Malyutka gun with a 3-wire microcable, through which both control signals and power were supplied to the rocket!
    1. Storog dvornik
      Storog dvornik 9 January 2023 12: 10
      +1
      In the USSR, they tried to use a laser beam as a means of missile defense ... In theory, the beam acted as a conductor (they wrote above about air ionization), through which powerful voltage was directed to the rocket body from the ground, and burned the control system, or even undermined the warhead ...
  9. Alien From
    Alien From 9 January 2023 11: 21
    0
    While our cartoons are being drawn by the Chinese people, the fairy tale has remained as it was.
    1. Sanichsan
      Sanichsan 9 January 2023 12: 52
      +1
      "yours" who is this? what
      in Russia, this technology was patented back in 2020.
      https://xn--80akfo2a.xn--p1ai/2020/10/30/18163/
      1. minus
        minus 9 January 2023 17: 26
        0
        A patent and a real embodiment are completely different. Yes, even before experimental verification, patents do not always reach. So at least patent, at least don’t patent .... Anyway, the Chinese will do it, but they will wipe it with a patent. Rather not. They won’t wipe themselves, but the patent owner will be sent to wipe their snot.
  10. evgen1221
    evgen1221 9 January 2023 11: 22
    +1
    Well, what will the lazar work on and how much will it eat to keep this drone in the air? And how will it work forever in a storm and rain? It can, according to the principle of an autogyro, launch a kite behind a ship, it also always comes out economically, environmentally friendly, and technologically.
    1. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 9 January 2023 11: 32
      +1
      Quote: evgen1221
      And how will it work forever in a storm and rain?

      In fact, somehow the military considered CO2 lasers to be very promising, well "penetrating" "fog and rain"! winked
  11. Egeny
    Egeny 9 January 2023 11: 27
    -2
    Chinese scientists announced

    British scientists have proven, well done.)
  12. Ghost1
    Ghost1 9 January 2023 12: 15
    0
    As usual, in the comments, the experts chewed everything up and delivered a verdict that everything was garbage. Well, the same garbage as Musk with his starlink, "the showman decided to make a non-realizable", I remember a couple of years ago it also seemed delusional and many did not believe it.
    1. Dismas
      Dismas 9 January 2023 12: 52
      0
      Yes, it seems that according to the "starlink" no one talked about unrealizability. So they talked about the idea of ​​lunar tourism and the colonization of Mars. And here the technology has been worked out - putting the payload into orbit, it would be loot and engineering and technical support (NASA to help), and the reusability of the carrier, which is also not know-how. Astronomers protested - ten dark satellites in low orbits will put an end to observational ground-based astronomy.
  13. George Miloslavsky
    George Miloslavsky 9 January 2023 12: 16
    -3
    And China is not interested in demoscanning such a beam of its positions)
  14. art having
    art having 9 January 2023 15: 38
    -2
    British scientists shared nonsense with Chinese colleagues?
  15. dump22
    dump22 9 January 2023 16: 44
    +3
    Well done the Chinese!
    So another couple of years will pass and there all goods will be delivered only by drones, and the courier profession will die out.
    1. evgen1221
      evgen1221 9 January 2023 19: 22
      +1
      But how the profession of a freeloader with an anti-drone gun from a microwave will flourish!)))
  16. kotev19
    kotev19 9 January 2023 17: 06
    0
    What clever Chinese scientists! What possibilities does this open up in space exploration! How many works and discoveries await our world. Even for me, a retired historian, there is work from home. Let's say here's an option for the future:
    I remember how the Americans on the Moon (Moon) in the time of Armstrong, Colins and Aldrin used a laser rangefinder beam to determine the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Imagine if you use the same beam from the Earth to use a flying drone with a camera on the surface of the Moon. It would hang over a certain square of the territory of the Moon, and I would study its surface from home and look for artifacts and "odd things". So one more specialty would have been put on its feet - SPACE ARCHEOLOGY.
    Thank you people of China!
    PS Actually, this is how the American Joseph Skipper worked, but only he looked at photos from NASA. See: https://www.tarrdaniel.com/documents/Ufology/marsanomaly.html
  17. Arkady007
    Arkady007 9 January 2023 17: 11
    +2
    For me, it’s easier to make solar panels on the UAV wing.
    1. kotev19
      kotev19 9 January 2023 17: 54
      0
      As a joke! I think the solar panels should be put down on the traffic cameras shown in the photo (below). Isn't this "Evil 2M"? bully
  18. Anatoly Proskurin
    Anatoly Proskurin 10 January 2023 08: 57
    -3
    useless technology for combat. The radiation source is visible and not moving. Covers quickly.
  19. Peaceful SEO
    Peaceful SEO 10 January 2023 16: 00
    +1
    Quote: kotev19
    What clever Chinese scientists! What possibilities does this open up in space exploration! How many works and discoveries await our world. Even for me, a retired historian, there is work from home. Let's say here's an option for the future:
    I remember how the Americans on the Moon (Moon) in the time of Armstrong, Colins and Aldrin used a laser rangefinder beam to determine the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Imagine if you use the same beam from the Earth to use a flying drone with a camera on the surface of the Moon. It would hang over a certain square of the territory of the Moon, and I would study its surface from home and look for artifacts and "odd things". So one more specialty would have been put on its feet - SPACE ARCHEOLOGY.
    Thank you people of China!

    I'm wildly sorry ... But what kind of crab will the drone hang over the surface of the moon (!!!)? Have they already brought the atmosphere there? :)
    Or will the drone float there on anti-gravity waves? :)))