Resonant Capacitive Coupling Wireless Power for UAVs

June 29, 2017 by Paul Shepard

Solace Power Inc. announced details on a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin under Canada's Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, which requires winning contractors to invest in Canada at an amount equal to the contract they have won. The $2.3 million USD investment will enable Solace Power, an Atlantic Canada-based, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) research and development company, to accelerate commercialization of its wireless power technology called Resonant Capacitive Coupling, or RC2.

Lockheed Martin is making this investment as part of their ITB obligation for the in-service support of 17 CC-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, which were delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2010.

"We are very pleased to see our Investment Framework grant going to such a highly innovative SME like Solace Power," says Charles Bouchard, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Canada. "We are impressed with Solace Power's track record of development and commercialization of its globally competitive products, and are proud to support such an innovative organization. The success of this investment is an example of how large international aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin can collaborate with smaller businesses in Canada to create opportunities for lasting growth in the Canadian economy."

Solace's RC2 technology enables unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to stay in the air longer by recharging autonomously. The technology uses electric fields for wireless power transfer via charging stations placed near surveillance areas. It has wide-ranging aerial applications that can keep drones in operation for longer periods of time without requiring manual battery charging or swap operations. Beyond UAVs, the versatility of RC2 has been demonstrated in the automotive and office furniture markets, and in manufacturing and maintenance processes.

"The Solace team is excited and energized by this investment from Lockheed Martin, and we look forward to building on the synergy between our companies," said Kris McNeil, president and CEO of Solace. "This investment will enable us to bring our RC2 technology to market earlier. We see significant potential for commercial uptake of our wireless power technology in multiple markets."

As a result of the Lockheed Martin investment, Solace is expanding its engineering team, upgrading its R&D facilities in Mount Pearl and will deliver smaller, more efficient components for wireless power transfer at higher power levels. The investment will see RC2 integrated into new applications with improved capabilities in several industries.

Lockheed Martin's ITB investment in four Canadian companies, including Solace Power, was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the CANSEC defense and security show on May 31, 2017.