Questions Driving Electric Sky"
* Is there any way to bring the cost of a passenger ticket to orbit below $10,000?
* Is there any technology which would allow for high speed point-to-point transport which is both faster and cheaper than subsonic aviation?
* Is there one technology that might do both things?
(Jeff is speaking as an employee of Electric Sky, I think, not as chairperson of Tau Zero)
The Promise of Beams
* Size and cost of vehicles driven by energy storage
* Mature operating cost driven by the price of energy
* If you can beam the power to the vehicle, then
- The energy is massless
- Electricity costs about half as much as fuel
- Electricity-to-work conversion is 2-3 times more efficient than fuel-to-work
There are other practical "beam like" solutions to Maxwell's equations!
A class of Airy solutions in particular has relevance for power beams (Chremmos 2011)
Tight focus a long way from the transmitter AND the beam in the middle is diffuse, which greatly reduces worries about accidental exposure.
Lot of other markets for beamed power: UAVs, UAMs (flying cars), electric aircraft (propeller and eJets)
* Exploring a range of frequencies
* Receivers are smaller, concerns over accidental beam exposure higher
* Looks doable but still work to be done
For meter-to-50m ranges
* Spinoff beam receiver work
* Extends inductive near field coupling
* Pursuing that as early revenue
* Wireless power at kW scale
* Breadboarding in the lab now (picture of a literal breadboard with LEDs)
Question about how far you can place the focus. "Can you place a spot on the moon from the earth?"
A: "I haven't simulated yet". Looking at applications nearer to Earth "unless somebody pays me."
@kaniini What do you mean?
@kaniini Yes but the wavelength cannot be significantly larger than the vehicle if you want any of the energy transferred to the vehicle in any fashion.
@kaniini Longer wavelengths means bigger transmitters and receivers.
They're not talking about using photon pressure for propulsion if that's what you mean.
@kaniini Yeah the table said 97% receiver efficiency, which of course needs to be multiplied by whatever amount of the energy is actually hitting your antenna array.
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