Laser Powered Helicopter Paves The Way For Space Elevators

There’s something about lasers that seems to appeal to everybody, and now LaserMotive has managed to use a few watts of laser power to keep a 22-gram model helicopter hovering for about an hour. While we can easily think of all sorts of mischief that can be done if we had a more powerful laser, LaserMotive’s goal is to power space elevators to lift objects into orbit. Such a move would be useful as traditional UAVs require a lot of power from batteries or fuel, while solar-powered vehicles have limitations for staying in the air for long periods of time. With that in mind, ground-based laser propulsion could be a viable solution to enhance airtime. Check out a video of the laser in action after the jump.

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