Saturday, April 14, 2012

Space Access '12: Jordin Kare - LaserMotive

He was at Space Access 2010 right after winning the Space Elevator Games climber/beam power competition. They are open for business, and have their first 2 full-time employees. The next challenge was delayed, revised, and then finally cancelled. LaserMotive was disappointed with this, since they had put a lot of effort into it. They did get a 4.5 kw diode array transmitter out of the effort, though.
Since then, they did a demo of unlimited duration flight with a quadricopter. They had no sales, and got no angel investors yet. They are still looking for customers and investors.

They have a new product, InvisiTower, which is like the quadricopter, but is controlled by a tether. Laser power is delivered over fiber. The craft could take video, transmit communications, etc.

Since 2010, there has been more interest in Laser Launch. There were 2 separate funded studies from OCT. One was on Beamed Energy Propulsion, and one was called Ride the Light. His plan was for one array of lasers for the initial launch system, and another, main array for orbit. They studied design reference missions for launch, LEO to GEO, and deep space missions. They were designing an expendable SST vehicle. Kare, Myrabo and Parkin had different approaches.