LaserMotive announces laser power-over-fiber technology

Kent, WA--LaserMotive has unveiled what is calls the MicroPoF, a power-over-fiber (PoF) product that delivers power to electrical devices via laser light transmitted over fiber-optic cable, with no electrical connection required.

The MicroPoF provides electric power of an amount anywhere from a few watts to hundreds of watts over a thin, nonconductive optical fiber up to 900 m long, say LaserMotive. Power over fiber delivers power without electrical interference in the presence of high voltages, radio-frequency (RF) fields, electromagnetic pulses, and high magnetic fields, and should find applications in laboratories, industrial and aerospace test environments, telecommunications, and medical systems such as magnetic-resonance imaging (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, says LaserMotive.

“Being able to provide unlimited energy without electrical wires opens up applications previously impractical or simply impossible,” said Tom Nugent, the company's president and CEO.

The LaserMotive MicroPoF product carries 10 W of DC power output (nominally 3.3 V at 3 A). The transmitter is a 3U rack-mount unit that includes the laser and thermoelectric cooling system. The fist-sized receiver weighs less than 150 g. The MicroPoF comes with a 10-m-long fiber that has connectors preinstalled. Options include longer fiber lengths (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.

This type of power routing could also serve a purpose in certain physics experiments that are very sensitive to electromagnetic interference.

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