AES Semigas


7 May 2024

NUBURU wins second NASA contract for blue laser space technology

NUBURU Inc of Centennial, CO, USA — which was founded in 2015 and develops and manufactures high-power industrial blue lasers — has been awarded an $850,000 Phase II contract by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to advance blue laser power transmission technology as a unique solution to dramatically reduce the size and weight of the equipment needed for Lunar and Martian applications. The contract builds on NUBURU’s Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) announced in August 2023.

NUBURU’s blue power beaming technology is a rethinking of the electrical power grid for the unique Lunar and Martian environments – eliminating the need for transporting heavy copper or aluminium wires, which are neither economically nor logistically practical. The blue power beaming technology approach unlocks the dynamic distribution of power to moving rovers, temporary or permanent stations, and even remote habitats. NUBURU’s blue laser architecture enables a low size, weight and power (SWaP) design, clear visibility aiding navigation, efficient direct diode technology, and advanced direct-bandgap solar cell technology for high electrical efficiency. This technology solution is directly aligned with the mission goal of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon permanently. The need has been outlined in NASA’s Moon to Mars Objectives in Lunar Infrastructure Goal 1.

In the initial phase I project, NUBURU demonstrated the scientific, technical and commercial feasibility of its technology. During the Phase II program, the firm aims to scale up the power, range and performance of the blue laser power beaming technology. This program will demonstrate the technology with hundreds of watts of power delivered at kilometer-scale range. Furthermore, NUBURU aims to advance its high-brightness laser source with a next-generation technology capable of extending the technology range to tens of kilometers on the lunar surface.

“This second NASA contract is a testament to the innovative nature of our blue power beaming technology, which has the potential to revolutionize power management challenges facing NASA, other space operators, and many commercial enterprises today,” says NUBURU’s chief executive officer & chief technology officer Brian Knaley. “Our upcoming innovation, powered by NUBURU’s state-of-the-art blue laser technology, is set to significantly decrease the size and weight of necessary equipment to meet routine mission demands,” he adds.

“In addition to Lunar applications, blue laser power beaming has terrestrial applications, including remote power solutions, disaster relief, and DoD contested logistics,” continues Knaley. “NUBURU’s unique high-brightness technology has additional applications in industrial, medical and defense markets that benefit from this SBIR program funding and megamarkets like e-mobility, consumer, electronics, aerospace, healthcare, defense, energy, and industrial applications.”

NASA’s SBIR program funds the research, development and demonstration of innovative technologies that have significant potential for successful commercialization. The SBIR program is designed to drive these technologies to market in a three-phase process, ultimately resulting in commercialization and deployment. This Phase II effort will be a significant step forward towards validating the blue laser power beaming technology at a scale critical for commercial success, NUBURU reckons.

See related items:

NUBURU wins NASA contract to demo power beaming in space using blue laser technology

NUBURU selected by US DoD for high-energy laser system contract

Tags: Blue laser diode



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