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Energy beamed up from lasers could allow uncrewed solar-powered aircraft to stay in the air all night. Nobuki Kawashima and colleagues from Kinki University in southern Japan have used a laser to power a lightweight propeller-driven aircraft. The plane used a battery to take off, but once at 50 metres it relied entirely on power drawn from the laser which was aimed at solar panels on its underside. Hydrogen fuel cells, a clean and renewable source of energy, in fact contain petroleum-based membranes. Now Justin Barone at the US Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland,
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