LaserMotive, an independent R&D company specializing in laser power beaming, today announced the MicroPoF, the first in LaserMotive’s new line of general-purpose Power over Fiber (PoF) products. The MicroPoF delivers power to electrical devices via laser light transmitted over fiber optic cable, without a traditional electrical connection.
LaserMotive’s free-space laser power beaming systems have set multiple records, delivering hundreds of watts of power over thousands of feet to mobile robots and UAVs. Now LaserMotive has applied its technology to Power over Fiber systems able to provide electric power anywhere from a few watts to hundreds of watts over a thin, non-conductive optical fiber up to 3,000 feet (900 m) long.
Power over Fiber can deliver power safely and without interference in the presence of high voltages, RF fields and electromagnetic pulses, or high magnetic fields, and is expected to find applications in laboratories, industrial and aerospace test environments, telecommunications, and medical systems such as in MRI machines. It can also provide a rugged, lighter weight alternative to copper wire for powering tethered ground or underwater robots, without the line-of-sight requirements of free-space laser power.
“This first LaserMotive Power over Fiber product marks an important milestone in delivering power via lasers for practical use,” said Tom Nugent, president and CEO of LaserMotive. “Being able to provide unlimited energy without electrical wires opens up applications previously impractical or simply impossible.”
The LaserMotive MicroPoF product features 10 watts DC power output, nominally 3.3 volts at 3 amps. The transmitter is a 3U rack mount unit which includes the laser and thermoelectric cooling system. The fist-sized receiver weighs less than 150 grams. The MicroPoF comes standard with a 33 foot (10 meter) connectorized fiber. Options include longer fiber length (up to 3000 ft. for MicroPoF) and integral DC-DC conversion to user-specified output voltages. LaserMotive can also supply a MicroPoF cable with an integral single-mode data fiber, and complete data link options including USB-II and Gigabit Ethernet.