Beam Global announced Dec. 3 the US Patent and Trademarks Office has issued US Patent No: 10,843,819, covering the UAV ARC Drone Recharging Network, Beam’s renewably energized, networked drone recharging solution, which provides en route charging for unmanned aerial vehicles.
UAV ARC terminals, which are now patented and currently in development, will provide a rapidly deployed drone recharging network. Each UAV ARC unit can be delivered and commissioned without permitting, construction, or electrical work. A UAV ARC network is intended to provide a range-extending source of battery recharging for drones that would otherwise be limited by range or payload restrictions. The ability to recharge on a network of UAV ARC products deployed on rooftops in built up areas, undeveloped regions, or at sea (marinized version) should dramatically increase the potential range and utility of UAVs. Each UAV ARC unit generates and stores all its power from renewable sources so drones will receive clean renewable electricity with no cost-per-unit of energy. The units are completely independent from the power grid, allowing them to provide charging during grid outages and in remote locations.
The UAV ARC network is capable of gathering data on the drones’ state-of-health while they are recharging. Beam Global intends to make the data and recharging available to a variety of drone operators under various business models which could include subscriptions, pay per use, or ownership.
Beam anticipates adoption from both commercial and military customers as drones play an increasing role in package delivery and situational awareness. Business Insider Intelligence predicts global drone shipments to reach 2.4 million units in 2023, increasing at a 66% compound annual growth rate. Drone growth will occur across package delivery, agriculture, construction and mining, insurance, media, and telecommunications and a variety of military applications.
Amazon plans to use drones to deliver customers' orders within 30 minutes through its Prime Air delivery program. Google-parent Alphabet's Wing is a drone delivery service in partnership with FedEx and Walgreens through which it delivers select FedEx packages and over-the-counter medicines from Walgreens. Recently, the Department of Defense awarded contracts totaling $13.4 million to five companies to sustain the capabilities of the domestic small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industrial base. This was part of a wider spend on the part of the US Government, which saw $84 million pumped into the drone, space tech, and shipbuilding industries.