Pentagon to Test First In-Space Laser Beam

Photo: NASA (Fair Use)

According to an announcement by the agency, the Space Wireless Energy Laser Link (SWELL) was launched late Tuesday by the US Naval Research Laboratory.

The purpose of the launch was to demonstrate laser power beaming in space as part of a Defense Department Space Test Program H9 mission to the International Space Station.

The SWELL experiment was launched aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle to the ISS to “collect data during a laser power beaming link in space conditions,” Next Gov reported.

As per the announcement, power beaming is a means of transmitting energy in the form of electromagnetic waves, which does not require carrying mass along with it, allowing for nearly instantaneous energy delivery.

While this technique has been shown to be feasible on the ground, it is now being tested in space to examine its challenges and suitability for space applications, as well as to showcase the potential of power beaming to tackle Earth’s energy issues, as reported by Next Gov.

Written by staff