DoD’s DARPA studies tech to recharge drones while in flight
The US Department of Defense’s innovative tech unit, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is looking for ways to recharge drones while still in flight using laser-shooting tanker planes as the source of that energy.
DARPA this week issued a formal request for information (RFI) from private drone and related tech companies for the aerial recharging project it’s calling the Airborn Energy Well. The ultimate objective of the initiative, the filing says, is to adapt US Air Force KC-46 and KC-135 refueling aircraft with laser energy beaming technologies to remotely juice depleting batteries in UAV as they continue operating.
“This Airborne Energy Well is a potential component of a more expansive energy web of power generation, transfer relays and receiving solutions, enabling the Department of Defense (DoD) to dynamically allocate energy resources to more flexibly deliver military effects,” the RFI notes.
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