Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Laser-Powered Aircraft Model Tested

A small laser-powered aircraft was demonstrated in Osaka earlier this week. It measures 30 inches in length and has wings like a kite. Power for the plane is provided by a ground-based laser when its beam strikes a disc-shaped solar panel attached underneath the plane.


(Laser-powered aircraft tested in Osaka)

Although the plane uses a battery for takeoff power, it is fully powered by the laser when at altitude. One of the advantages of this sort of plane is that its flight time is not limited by onboard fuel. Researchers believe that there may be applications in some forms of airborne surveillance work, particularly in investigating disaster areas; also, leisure-related applications are foreseen.

Observers noted that it looked like "a kite on a string of light." Commercially available models are at least three years out.

In their 1974 novel Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote about laser cannon that were powerful enough to provide reliable propulsion to space craft.

Read about the first flight of a laser-powered plane. Read more about the Osaka plane here.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/9/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.' - Karen Traviss, 2004.

Answer To Teacher Spying And Student Surveillance? ParanoidLinux!
'ParanoidLinux is an operating system that assumes that its operator is under assault from the government...' - Cory Doctorow, 2008.

Facebook Unexpectedly Turns Away From Sfnal Face Recognition
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Florida Man Felt Harassed By Drone, Shoots It Down
'...a kid bounced a missile off a golden ball.' - Larry Niven, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

Smallest Remote-Controlled Walking Robot Crabs
A robot 'as big as a dust grain.'

Pleasure Model Replicants Now Available
'Want a life-companion... sir, I can get you up any style you want.'

Robot Covered In Living Human Skin
'Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?'

Dall-E 2 Creates Art To Order
'Something different,' she said. 'Maybe a combined Miro and Goya.'

SpaceX Rocket Quick Reaction Force
'... the ship went into free flight, arching in a high parabola.'

Do AIs Create Their Own Language?
'the Mentanicals have begun to acquire a faculty not primarily given them by their inventors the faculty of speech...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.