Boeing was recently warded a patent to charge a drone midair. The patent describes the use of drones equipped with tethers that can connect with ground-based power supplies while they’re still airborne, to recharge their batteries on the go.
Where drones are required to be operational almost throughout the day, by using charge points at various locations, these drones can charge when free or when their batteries are drained out.
The drone can be recharged from a ship in ocean, from other flying objects, from a moving vehicle on ground and even high altitude balloons.
Patent Number – 9,045,218
Patent Title – Autonomous aircraft with disconnectable tether
Inventors: Childress; James J. (Mercer Island, WA), Viniotis; John J. (Bellevue, WA)
Applicant: The Boeing Company
Appl. No.: 13/791,105
Filed: March 8, 2013
Systems and methods to launch an aircraft are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system comprises an electrically powered buoyant aircraft, a control system to maneuver the aircraft and a tether adapted to couple to the aircraft and to a ground-based power supply to provide power to the aircraft while the aircraft is coupled to the tether. The aircraft can disconnect autonomously from the tether in response to a command signal.
The patent can be reviewed here.
Source: Patent Yogi