Wireless Power Transmission with Electromagnetic Inductive Coupling
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
DARPA topic SB072-038 initiates development of devices that will employ inductive electromagnetic coupling to efficiently transmit power wirelessly over "short to medium" distances, citing a number of advantages relative to other methods, including (1) no requirement for an unobstructed line-of-sight or precision tracking between the transmitter and receiver, (2) reduced vulnerability to interference, (3) reduced size and weight relative to directed radiation, and (4) the ability to simultaneously distribute power to multiple receivers. Phase I will evaluate the feasibility and performance possible with the inductive power transmission over distances as large as 10 m. Specific applications will be considered, including small clustered satellites that range from nano- and pico-satellites (< 10 kg) to mini-satellites (< 500 kg), with corresponding characteristic dimensions of 10 cm to 1m, respectively. During Phase I the project team will (1) develop a parametric analytical/computational model for efficiency and transmitter/receiver sizing; (2) perform size/weight vs. efficiency tradeoffs to find optimum transmitter and receiver geometries for two disparate satellite cluster applications; (3) identify the practical system elements necessary to achieve optimized performance, and (4) perform prototype testing to demonstrate performance under realistic conditions, including the presence of nearby ferromagnetic and conductive materials and motion of the receiver.
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