Terrestrial Microwave Power Beaming at Distances >1km

This presentation establishes the practicality of terrestrial microwave power beaming at distances >1km. To beam microwave power along the surface of the earth, it is necessary to consider and, where possible, exploit the effects of microwave propagation across terrain. Key design considerations include the effect of scattering from surface topography, approaches for characterizing the beam in the presence of multipath, safety, and efficiency. A rapid demonstration at the US Army Research Field in Blossom Point, MD, delivers 1.6kW of electrical power at a 1046m standoff from a 5.4m-diameter X-band transmitter. The transmitter is a reflector antenna with a linearly actuated feed horn that can focus the power density at specific standoff distances. Experimental results over cluttered, irregular terrain achieve a 2.3dB (70%) enhancement in power density at the target site by deliberate exploitation of a ground bounce. A 4m 2-rectenna receiver produces the 1.6kW of output power at a 73% RF-to-DC conversion efficiency, which exceeds the current state-of-the-art at X-band. In addition, a test to destruction of 4 large rectenna arrays demonstrates how overvoltage protection circuits can improve the RF power handling of rectenna arrays by >1dB. A final experiment demonstrates >1kW delivered at >1km distance to a light display. Since these results should readily scale to higher levels of power and performance, recommendations are provided to mature the technology for operational use.