The US Navy tested microwaves for wireless electricity transfer

The US Navy tested microwaves for wireless electricity transfer


The United States Navy says it has carried out the most important experiment of the last fifty years. It has indeed delivered energy through the air using microwave technology. How could this innovation represent a revolution?

The Scope-M project

Regardless of its objective, any military operation will prove ineffective without energy input. The latter is simply essential in all circumstances. Also, many researchers are working on projects aimed at increasing their autonomy while reducing supply-related constraints. In an April 20, 2022 statement, the United States Navy detailed Project Scope-M, the goal of which is to deliver energy through the air using microwaves. In a laboratory, scientists maintained 1.6 kW of power over a distance of one kilometer using a microwave beam.

First, the electricity is converted into microwaves. Then those same microwaves focus into a narrow beam heading toward a receiver. The receiver in question has thousands of so-called “rectifier” antennas. These dipole type antennas (two strands) are thus capable of converting radiofrequency energy into direct current. More precisely, the antennas are each associated with a diode whose mission is to convert the alternating current of the microwaves into direct current.

For direct use in the field

As part of this project, the researchers installed a microwave beam with a frequency of 10 GHz at two locations. The first was at Blossom Point (Maryland) and the second at the Haystack Ultrawideband Satellite Imaging Radar at MIT (Massachusetts). According to the observations, the beam was effective up to 60%. This result is initially satisfactory, since the army and scientists did not firmly believe in this technology before the experiment.

In addition, you should know that the choice of the 10 GHz frequency is not the result of chance. Indeed, this value offers real stability even in the event of bad weather while avoiding at the same time any disturbance of the environment. For those responsible for the project, this is the most important experiment of the last fifty years.

Finally, US Navy researchers believe that this technology could make it possible to create power points on Earth without a power grid from solar power plants located in orbit. However, the military are thinking of direct use in the context of field operations to ensure the supply of energy to troops, and thus solve any problem of supply and autonomy.