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INESC TEC participates in microsatellite supplying project for space exploration

INESC TEC is partner in a European project, which aims at developing a microsatellite supplying system using optical fibre lasers for space exploration. The kick-off meeting of WiPTherm – Innovative Wireless Power devices using micro-thermoelectric generators arrays was held on 29 November.

16th December 2019

It is a research, coordinated by the University of Porto and with the participation of the INESC TEC’s  Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP), which intends to develop an innovative wireless energy transfer system (WET), capable of recharging via laser the energy storage components used in CubeSats (micro and nanosatellites). CubeSats are used for meteorological information, climate research, multimedia communications, among others.

The efficient, economic and sustainable solution promises to revolutionise the energy, engineering and space exploration sectors. The energy harvesting system comprises dozens of microarrays of 2D thermoelectric generators, resulting in a photo-thermoelectric plasmonic (HPTP) system, which will be able to convert photon energy into electrical energy (via temperature gradient). The wireless thermal stimulation will be performed through a high power optical fibre laser capable of operating at large distances.

The project also brings together the following entities: CeNTI – Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (Portugal), University of Limoges (France) and University of Vigo (Spain).

Due to be completed in October 2022 and with a total investment of EUR 2,315,892.5, INESC TEC’s team is led by Orlando Frazão and is composed of researchers from CAP João Ferreira, Susana Silva, Catarina Monteiro and Paulo Robalinho.


The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with UP-FCUP and INESC TEC.