Microairplane propelled by laser driven exotic target

T. Yabe, C. Phipps, M. Yamaguchi, R. Nakagawa, K. Aoki, H. Mine, Y. Ogata, C. Baasandash, M. Nakagawa, E. Fujiwara, K. Yoshida, A. Nishiguchi, I. Kajiwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a propulsion concept to drive a microairplane by laser that can be used for observation of climate and volcanic eruption. Since it does not have to develop thrust for vertical takeoff, and it has no engine in the normal sense, the microairplane can be very light, with its payload consisting only of observation and communication equipment. In order to demonstrate the concept, we succeeded in flying a paper microairplane driven by a 590 mJ, 5 ns pulse yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser that impinges on a double-layer "exotic target." The coupling efficiency agrees well with simulations and with experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4318-4320
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jun 10


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