University of Michigan’s MClimber to use TRUMPF Lasers

The University of Michigan’s Space Elevator team became the latest to announce that they, too, have reached an agreement with TRUMPF to use their lasers in the Climber/Power-Beaming event of the upcoming Spaceward Games.  From team captain Andrew Lyjak:

Hi Ted,

We are extremely happy to be working with TRUMPF. We plan on making the most of this opportunity and are currently developing a wireless power beaming system around the TRUMPF TruDisk 8kW laser. In order to compete most effectively, we have decided to use the September 2008 competition window purely as a test for our system design. This means that our competition worthy run(s) will happen in 2009. We are also tremendously grateful to the guys at TRUMPF for their professional attitude, hospitality, and excitement about this competition.


Andrew Lyjak

This makes five teams which have now reached agreement with TRUMPF to use their lasers in the upcoming competition (and that will be all).  I emailed Dave Marcotte, TRUMPF’s man for this competition about this and this was his reply;

Hi Ted:
The TRUMPF interview process is complete.
Listed, not in any order of preference…
University of Michigan- Contact: Andrew Lyjak
TXL Group- Contact: David Nemir
Kansas City Space Pirates- Contact: Brian Turner
Queens University- Contact: Jonathan Boulanger
NSS Team- Contact: Bert Murray
We look forward to all our teams “racing” to the top.

So, out of the ten teams which have signed up for this year’s games, all but two (E-T-C and the University of Alberta’s Space Elevator Research Team) have now indicated that they will be powering their climbers via laser.

Think of how quickly all this has matured.  Just three years ago, in the inagural games, every team was powered by Spaceward-provided spotlights.  Now every climber (or nearly every climber) is going to be powered by laser.  In the inagural games, the climb was only several meters and now, this year, the goal is a full kilometer.  Teams are going to have to provide sophisticated tracking mechanisms to keep the beam focused on their climber – hand held mirrors just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Only 187 days to go…