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2024 | Book

Beamed-mobility Engineering

Wireless-power Beaming to Aircrafts, Spacecrafts and Rockets

Editors: Koichi Mori, Yasuhisa Oda, Takahashi Masayuki, Kohei Shimamura

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

Book Series : Springer Tracts in Electrical and Electronics Engineering


About this book

This book describes the technologies of wireless power beaming to the aerospace crafts, such as the drone, flying car, aircraft, spacecraft, and rocket. Using a highly directional electromagnetic wave beam, energy is remotely supplied to mobility that moves at high speed without waste, and it is efficiently converted into the driving force of mobility. This technology will be indispensable for the full electrification of mobility in the future. 

This book specializes in aerospace mobility, where weight and other constraints are strict, and was written by researchers in different disciplines such as rocket engineering, plasma engineering, laser engineering, and communications and control engineering. Beamed-mobility forms a new area of integrated engineering. The new combination of optics and mechanical engineering creates a world where mobility is free to supply the energy needed for propulsion, wherever and wherever it goes. It is expected to become the core technology of mobility, energy, infrastructure, and services of the future society that extends to outer space. This book will serve as a good reference for graduate students, researchers, and professional engineers in the field of aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Wireless Power Transfer Via Microwave for Mobilities
This chapter provides a comprehensive review of microwave wireless power transmission, focusing on its application to the aircraft including the drone and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Focusing on the key element of these systems, the rectifier circuit, this work outlines the principles of rectification, application of high-frequency rectifiers, and specific band rectifier circuits. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the comparative advantages of wireless power transfer over battery systems for UAVs. It also delves into the feasibility of microwave-powered flight, examining factors such as beam collecting and capture efficiency, and RF-DC conversion efficiency. The dependency of operation frequency and the design of mobile devices for flight demonstration are analyzed as well. The research herein contributes significantly to the advancement of UAV technology and energy harvesting.
Kohei Shimamura, Maho Matsukura
Chapter 2. Microwave Rocket
This comprehensive study further extends into the concept of microwave rockets, elucidating their working principle and thrust generation mechanisms. Experimental applications of high-power microwave sources are explored alongside thrust measurements and performance trends observed with single- and multi-pulse operations. It delves into the role of millimeter wave plasma in the thruster and investigates the impact of beam profile and frequency. The chapter also presents demonstration experiments, including single- and multi-pulse flight experiments, as well as a thrust generation experiment involving long-distance transmission-type thruster with beam optical conversion. An analysis of the microwave rocket system and launch system beam source concludes the study. This work provides vital insights into the advancement of microwave power technologies and their potential in propulsion systems.
Yasuhisa Oda, Toshikazu Yamaguchi
Chapter 3. Laser Propulsion and Demonstrations
This comprehensive research explores the potential of laser propulsion as a cost-effective alternative for space launches and as a solution for space debris removal. The first part delves into pulsed laser orbital launchers, introducing their principles, examining different vehicle types, and assessing past studies for feasibility in mass space transportation. Detailed trajectory analyses and cost evaluations show significant potential for cost reduction, especially with high-power lasers like laser diodes or fiber lasers in arrays with coherent coupling. The second part demonstrates laser propulsion’s practical applications, detailing the operation of laser-driven in-tube accelerators (LITAs) and wall-ablative, laser-driven in-tube accelerators and presenting experimental procedures for satellite spin breaking using TEA CO2 and Nd:YLF lasers. The chapter concludes by proposing the use of laser ablation impulses for deorbiting nonfunctional satellites, presenting a promising strategy for space debris removal.
Hiroshi Katsurayama, Yusuke Nakamura, Akihiro Sasoh
Chapter 4. Spectroscopy of Air Discharge Plasmas Induced by a Gyrotron Beam
This comprehensive study explores the practicalities of beamed energy propulsion (BEP) systems, focusing on the spectroscopic measurements of air discharge plasmas within a microwave rocket’s nozzle. It unpacks the mechanism by which millimeter-wave energy is transformed into thrust via plasma generation and millimeter-wave supported detonation. Special attention is given to the non-equilibrium dynamics of neutral particles and ions in atmospheric millimeter-wave discharges. A practical method to investigate these dynamics is introduced through optical emission spectroscopy (OES), a nonintrusive technique capable of studying plasma without disturbing it. The study features real-world examples, adding practical value and feasibility to the theoretical aspects. This exploration substantiates BEP’s potential in revolutionizing space transportation, bringing substantial cost reduction and high efficiency.
Kuniyoshi Tabata
Chapter 5. Experimental Studies of Microwave Discharge Induced by Gyrotron
This chapter comprehensively reviews experimental investigations on gyrotron-induced microwave discharges and associated theories, comparing over-critical and under-critical conditions. Simple calculation models of the ionization threshold that separates over-critical and under-critical conditions are explained, and specific calculation examples are given. Filamentary structures of the induced plasma in over-critical and under-critical conditions are discussed with high-speed camera images. The study underscores the need for experiments on the ionization front’s propagation velocity in various incident beam frequencies for assessing microwave rocket’s thrust performance. Investigations also reveal limitations imposed by the transition from nonequilibrium to equilibrium discharge in the focusing optics of the incident beams and abnormal ignitions due to residual plasma.
Masafumi Fukunari
Chapter 6. Modeling and Theoretical Studies on Beamed-Induced Plasma
Modeling and theory for millimeter-wave discharge were described to understand the plasma-formation physics at over- and under-critical intensities. On overcritical discharge, plasma fluid or particle model was combined with electromagnetic wave propagations via a current-density feedback. Simulation results and theory indicated that electron-impact ionization, electron diffusion, and wave reflection caused the propagation of the ionization front. On the other hand, at under-critical conditions, modeling studies revealed that neutral gas dynamics, excitation reaction, and photon transport played important roles on the propagation of the ionization front.
Masayuki Takahashi, Yusuke Nakamura
Chapter 7. Laser-Supported Detonation
This chapter takes a comprehensive look at laser-supported detonation (LSD), examining both experimental studies and numerical analyses. It investigates the propagation mechanism, the atmospheric pressure dependence, and the role of an electron density threshold in driving the LSD. It clarifies the influence of laser intensity, wavelength, focusing optics, and ambient gas conditions on LSD propagation, highlighting the importance of further investigations to elucidate its propagation structure. It also discusses the energy conversion efficiency, termination conditions, and the propagation velocity of the LSD wave.
Hiroshi Katsurayama, Kohei Matsui
Chapter 8. High-Power Beam Source and Beam Transmission
This research explores high-power beam sources and their transmission, crucial components for applications involving beamed energy propulsion and power transmission. This paper introduces key aspects of electromagnetism, including the properties of Gaussian beams and the correlation between beam diameter and frequency. Various oscillation sources are discussed, with emphasis on devices like the magnetron, klystron, gyrotron, and free-electron laser. The exploration of high-power beam source technology examines gyrotron tubes, high-voltage power supply, superconducting magnets, matching optical units, and auxiliary systems. The study further looks into transmission technology, reviewing waveguides, miter bends, dummy loads, and power selection and control equipment. An electronic cyclotron heating system for fusion plasma serves as an illustrative example of high-power beam sources.
Yasuhisa Oda
Chapter 9. Retrodirective Wireless Optical Energy Transmission Using Optical Phase Conjugation
The increasing demand for wireless optical energy transmission in various aerospace applications necessitates efficient laser beam propagation over long distances, potentially across turbulent atmospheres. This study delves into retrodirective wireless optical energy transmission, employing optical phase conjugation to mitigate beam spreading and wandering caused by atmospheric disturbance. The phase conjugate mirror (PCM), a device reflecting phase conjugate light (PCL), enables automatic targeting/tracking action, and near-diffraction-limited focusing of the laser beam, making it ideal for remote moving targets. This chapter reviews existing wireless optical power transfer techniques, such as gimbal tracking and adaptive optics, while introducing optical phase conjugation technology as a new method for retrodirective optical power transfer using phase correction. Principles of optical phase conjugation and PCL generation techniques are also explored.
Kotomi Kawakami, Hideki Okamura
Chapter 10. Diode Laser-Sustained Plasma for Continuous-Wave Laser Propulsion
This chapter delves into the promising method of laser-sustained plasma (LSP) for continuous-wave laser propulsion, with a particular emphasis on high-power diode lasers. LSP, a stationary thermal plasma generation approach, offers benefits like clean flows and the availability of active gases, as compared to arc discharge plasma and other electrodeless heating methods. Historically, the high costs and maintenance associated with CO2 lasers for LSP generation hindered its industrial adoption. However, the emergence of high-power diode and diode-pumped fiber lasers, characterized by better maintainability, lifespan, and cost-effectiveness, paves the way for more accessible LSP generation. Experimental findings, including temperature measurements and fractional absorption and radiation loss, further illuminate the potential of this technique.
Makoto Matsui
Beamed-mobility Engineering
Koichi Mori
Yasuhisa Oda
Takahashi Masayuki
Kohei Shimamura
Copyright Year
Springer Nature Singapore
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN