KC Space Pirates

In pursuit of NASA loot.

2012: A New Mission

The Dawn of Laser Powered Flight

So after the games were over we were sitting here with all of this power beaming tech stuffed in my garage along with a network of friends, teammates and sponsors. It made sense to look to develop the near term applications for power beaming. So I am announcing a new direction for the KC Space Pirates. Laser Powered Flight. In order for wireless power beaming to develop to all its grand expectations it has to find and take the path with stepping stones from here to there.....

The KC Space Pirates will take the next step in the development of laser powered flight and in the art of wireless power beaming. We will attempt to keep a one pound robotic aircraft flying continuously  The power will be provided via laser beams. Future applications, will save money, fuel, provide human services, and safer ways to conduct research.

With laser power beaming, applications that are now impractical or impossible using current aircraft will become possible with smaller aircraft enabled by virtually unlimited flying duration. Imagine delivering medicine to the remote reaches of humanity, or pizza and tacos still warm and tasty to a mountain top retreat. Imagine scientists staring down the throat of an active volcano or catching forest fires moments after they start. All these applications and more become safer, less expensive and more ecologically friendly with laser powered aircraft.

Wireless power beaming has been proposed for many applications including powering the Space Elevator, Space Solar Power, and Laser Rocket launch. But all these grand applications need stepping stones to become practical and laser powered flight is the application that will provide those stepping stones. In August we will set a new record as an important step to larger aircraft for longer times over longer distances and greater heights.

The KC Space Pirates are a team of inventors and space enthusiasts from Kansas City, Missouri, best known for being a three time top finisher in the NASA Wireless Power Beaming competition.
The laser power for this attempt is graciously provided by TRUMPF lasers. Our optics hardware is provided by Thor Labs and our control software by National Instruments.