A patent application was filed for a unique solar relay aircraft, which seems to be inspired from Archimedes Burning Mirrors. Ground-based reflector arrays redirect the solar radiation from the sun towards the solar relay aircraft. This will help deliver concentrated solar power, such as solar power at multiple-sun intensities, to an aircraft. The aircraft need not carry heavy batteries to store electricity generated from solar power, nor the aircraft needs to create additional surface to carry solar panels.
The ground-based reflector arrays can focus on a power tower equipped with either photovoltaic or turbine based receivers to produce power for the grid when the arrays are not used to direct solar power to the solar powered aircraft.
Publication number: US 20160009402
Patent Title: Solar rely aircraft powered by ground based solar concentrator mirrors in dual use with power towers
Publication type: Grant
Application number: US 14/155360
Publication date: Jan 14, 2016
Filing date: Jan 15, 2014
Inventors: John William Hunter;
Original Assignee: John William Hunter