8 August 2023
NUBURU wins NASA contract to demo power beaming in space using blue laser technology
NUBURU Inc of Centennial, CO, USA — which conducts research, development, design and manufacturing of high-power, high-brightness industrial blue lasers — has been awarded a contract by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to demonstrate the feasibility of power beaming in space using the firm’s proprietary blue laser technology. Through NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding initiative, NUBURU has been selected to create a qualified solution that mitigates the high costs associated with transporting copper or aluminium wires that are critical to provide power to lunar or planetary bases in remote locations.
“Power beaming is one of the only effective and economical solutions to the power management challenges facing NASA and other space operators today,” says NUBURU’s CEO Mark Zediker. “Powered by our blue laser technology, the system we are developing will provide a unique solution that dramatically reduces the size and weight of the equipment needed to meet regular mission needs.”
During the initial phase of the project, NUBURU will focus on establishing the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of its technology. The firm then aims to create a commercially viable product to tackle this ongoing problem and continue to develop innovative space-qualified hardware.
In addition to tackling the core business challenges associated with power transmission, NUBURU’s laser technology can provide visual guidance to astronauts due to the scatter off either the fine regolith powder suspended above the moon’s surface or the Rayleigh scattering off the Martian atmosphere, creating a guided highway across these surfaces. NUBURU’s blue laser power beaming system will also be equipped with a high-bandwidth laser communication link, ensuring laser safety and enabling data transmission between widely spaced habitats.
NASA’s SBIR program funds the research, development and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs as described in the annual solicitations and have significant potential for successful commercialization. This three-phase process begins with a six-month idea generation period followed by a two-year prototype development phase that then leads to commercialization.