Archive for November 13th, 2012

Updates from the Kansas City Space Pirates

I’m a bit behind posting this - the October updates from our¬†friends in Kansas City. ¬†Brian Turner, captain and fearless leader of KCSP writes the following:

The laser power supply was fixed under warranty. Lumina power seems to have given me a generous benefit of the doubt about the failure.

I have reinstalled it and everything is testing out fine.

We have lost some momentum. At this point we are just working on power beaming in our spare time.

But in our spare time we have managed to get full control of the quadcopter via our LabVIEW programing environment. This allows us to “close the loop” between the tracking, and laser control systems. Something we would have had to do manually before. I also have improved quadcopter flight stability while hauling the solar panel.

You might wonder why this is taking us so long when Lasermotive pulled it off in about 3 months. The answer is time and money. They had at least 2 full time employees working on it and up to 4 kilowatts of laser power targeted at thousands of dollars of photovoltaic cells. We are limited by having far less laser power and much less expensive photovoltaic cells. If we do nothing but match their performance we will have substantially improved the state of the art from a price/performance point of view.

So… Watch this space.

Brian Turner
KC Space Pirates

It’s good to see that even without the NASA prize money available anymore, Brian and the KCSP continue to plug away…

1 comment November 13th, 2012


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