Today we follow up with an interview with Emrod's founder, Greg Kushnir, to talk about the deal, the technology, safety and redundancy concerns, the efficiency of the system and whether it can be used to transmit power back to Earth from a space-based solar array.
What follows is an edited transcript.
New Atlas: Congrats on this deal you've signed with Powerco. It sounds pretty significant.
Greg Kushnir: Any market traction with a new technology is significant. I think it's been a huge leap of faith on behalf of Powerco.
So Microwave energy transmission has been possible for some time. What are the advances you guys have made?
You're absolutely right. Transferring energy with microwaves has been around for decades. In the 70s, NASA showed it could support a helicopter drone in the air, charging it with microwaves from the ground. It's been around for a while.
What's changed in the last few years is mostly metamaterials technology. New materials that allowed us to convert the energy back into electricity very, very efficiently. That was what made it viable for commercial use. Before that, it's been around, but mostly used for military purposes.