KARI successfully tests world’s longest-distance wireless power transfer

2024.01.23 12:05:01 | 2024.01.23 13:08:34

Aerostat [Courtesy of KARI]이미지 확대

Aerostat [Courtesy of KARI]

Researchers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) have successfully tested its wireless power transfer of 1.81 kilometers in space, the longest distance so far that goes beyond 1.5 kilometers set by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

According to KARI on Monday, the test, which was conducted with the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, tapped into an aerostat, a lighter-than-air aircraft powered by a buoyant gas. The vehicle was equipped with an antenna and light-emitting diode (LED) for power reception.

In the demonstration, the power was transmitted by the Korea Deep Space Antenna (KDSA) via transmission technology in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province. The aerospace antenna transmitted 2 kilowatts of electrical power to the aerostat’s receiving antenna.

The antenna converted the signal into direct current, with the LED lighting up as a sign of the generated electricity, according to Lead Researcher Park Deok-jong.

“Our latest test broke the record of the longest distance in wireless power transmission since NASA’s demonstration of long-distance wireless power transmission in 1975 that successfully transmitted 34 kilowatts of electrical energy over a distance of 1.5 kilometers, which was the world record for wireless power transmission, a key technology in space-based solar power generation,” Park said.

Space-based solar power (SBSP) is a technology for gathering solar energy in outer space with satellites and distributing it to Earth by transforming it into microwaves. The energy received gets converted into electrical energy by the antennas on the ground.

Leading space-faring nations, in the meantime, are making investments in space solar power research and development, with the U.S. and China leading in advancing this transformative technology.

By Ko Jae-won and Han Yubin

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