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DARPA Grant by Electric Sky for working on Drones

Thanks to a $225,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a company called Electric Sky says it has started creating its first Whisper Beam transmitter for giving tightly concentrated wireless power to Drones in flight. The six-month Phase I award from DARPA’s Small Business Innovation Research programme will be used by Electric Sky to investigate how to adapt its wireless infrastructure to power a swarm of Drones.

The project’s first step entails developing and testing a lab-bench demonstration device that can communicate across small distances. These tests are expected to provide information that can be used to improve the system’s power and range. Electric Sky has offices in both the Seattle and Midland, Texas areas. Robert Millman, the company’s CEO, was previously the general counsel for Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space business.

Jeff Greason, the company’s co-founder, chief technologist, and creator of the Whisper Beam technology, is the company’s co-founder, chief technologist, and inventor. The company’s objective is to develop cutting-edge electric power and propulsion solutions for all types of aircraft and flight vehicles. Electric Sky isn’t the only company working on Drones power via wireless transmission. PowerLight Technologies, based in Seattle, is developing a laser-based technology that might power unpiloted aerial aircraft and 5G base stations, for example.

Electric Sky’s proprietary technology, on the other hand, takes a unique approach. Laser and microwave beams are often strong at first, but as they go outward, they become weaker. Whisper Beam’s transmissions, on the other hand, start out feeble but gain strength as they approach the receiver. The electromagnetic equivalent of a whispering gallery is Whisper Beam technology. A single listener across the room can hear the speaker in a whispering gallery, but no one else can, not even individuals standing immediately between them.

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