Authors: Kaibo Chen and Zhen Zhang

Extended Abstract: Drones, especially the most representative battery-powered multirotor drones, have experienced rapid development in practical niches nowadays. Market data indicates a distinct uptrend in the utilization of industrial drones. This means drones are replacing humans to execute a wide range of tasks, such as security management, aerial surveying, and routine inspection, due to their salient features of flexibility, safety, and efficiency. However, on account of the limitation of the onboard battery capacity, the relatively short endurance of drones cannot meet the current demand of continuous operations over long periods and large areas.
As a novel research topic, in-flight wireless charging shows enormous development potential and application prospects, as it can effectively cope with the above limitation of the short duration of electric-driven drones. First, this article introduces three main technical challenges of in-flight wireless charging that are significantly different from electric vehicle (EV) wireless charging, including the continuous disturbance of mutual inductance, lightweight design for the receiving side, and fast charging. Then, some emerging solutions are discussed from four perspectives, namely, technical challenges and system construction. In conclusion, this article provides insights into the potential of in-flight wireless charging, sharing reflections on its development and implementation. It is expected to inspire more innovative solutions from worldwide researchers and engineers.

Schematic of in-flight wireless charging and the industrial scenarios it can be applied to.


This paper has been published the Industrial Electronics Magazine in

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