In-space laser power beaming experiment to be conducted by NRLNews
March 14, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory soon will launch the Space Wireless Energy Laser Link (SWELL), an in-space laser power beaming experiment, the NRL announced in a statement.
SWELL will demonstrate laser power beaming in space as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP) H9 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) March 15, the statement adds.
"SWELL is one of several experiments that will launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle to the ISS for the yearlong mission to collect data during a laser power beaming link in space conditions," the statement reads. "The experiment, which is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD (A&S)) and supported by the Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund (OECIF), will explore challenges for power beaming’s viability for space applications, and also highlight the possibilities for using power beaming to address energy challenges on Earth."
During the experiment, NRL will identify focus areas for developing links of greater power and longer distance in space, the statement continues, noting that the aim is to "pave the way for rapid, resilient, and flexible energy delivery systems."