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Em Drive and maybe a warp

Discussion in 'Space Technology' started by cdxbow, Apr 27, 2015.

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  1. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    The em drive is a 'reactionless' drive that uses a resonant microwave chamber to 'somehow' develop a propulsive force from some mojo in the qantum vacuum. The principle is explained here Emdrive - Theory - Principle of Operation, although the exact physics is not understood. The RF resonant cavity thrusterwas invented by British aerospace engineer Roger J. Shawyer. The device uses a magnetron to produce microwaves for thrust, has no moving parts and needs no reaction mass for fuel. Both NASA and Chinese labs (perhaps others) have been able to build devices that replicate the effect. At present it only produces a tiny amount of thrust, but it does seem to be able the replicated.

    A drive that doesn't need propellant and can be run for long periods of time would be perfect for an in system drive, and while the current devices are a long way from a practical drive it is perhaps the most hopeful approach yet for exploring the solar system.

    During some laser Interferometry tests of the drive NASA recently found some evidence to suggest that the some of the laser light may have travelled faster than light in some parts of the resonant chamber. One explanation for this could be the generation of a warp bubble, and this would be the most exciting development in space propulsion. It could be NASA having a 'cold fusion' moment and there are any number of technical errors producing the result.
    This forum discusses it more: EM Drive Developments - related to space flight applications - Thread 2
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  2. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    Since this drive only produces (theoretically, i.e. best case) 333 milli-Newtons/kW it is not very power efficient, and probably not size or weight efficient either.
     
  3. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    True, but it is propellantless and could be run for years. The SPR has a theoretical design for a deep space probe design of the same power as the ESA Smart 1 ion drive probe, see Emdrive - Applications - Science missions The EM Drive is lighter, produces more thrust and runs 10x as long.

    Then there is the warp. That's the most exciting thing, if turns out to be real and not experimental artefact. Physicists have not had any experimental models of warped space to play with, so this could be a real enabler for exploring 'exotic' physics.
     
  4. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Active Member

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    Colour me skeptical. While definitely interesting I think its pretty early to be making claims and I think we are a long way from mission ready applications (or even testing it in orbit). I don't believe it will be completely reaction less drive. Making bold claims can be a great way to get funding, as it then take money to disprove the bold claim.

    Even if it doesn't turn out to be reaction less, anything that improves ion or similar propulsion is worth investigating.
     
  5. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    Unlike things like cold fusion and alleged anti-grav devices, the EM drive has been replicated quickly and easily by at least 3 labs, all have been able to measure a thrust. So that's promising.
     
  6. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Active Member

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    I definitely think there is something going on that's worth investigating. I can't help but think its linked in part to the earth magnetic field (or possibly even gravity) or something local, in some way we don't yet understand (and we don't understand a great deal about both of those). I don't doubt the results, I doubt the conclusion.

    Until I see either solid results or theory explaining that it will work just as well or better away from both of those I remain cautious. The claim that it requires no fuel or reaction mass is a huge claim (as is the "warp field"). Its right up with perpetual motion, anti-gravity and if its true will require a pretty hefty rewrite of physics from the ground up. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
     
  7. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    Absolutely on both counts. I am pretty confident the EM Drive is producing a thrust as other labs have been able to replicate the effect with their own devices and have published articles to that effect. Compare that to the situation with cold fusion and anti-grav, where the incredible initial claims could not be replicated fully by other labs. Also there is some reasonable physics behind it. I won't be convinced until we see an engine in space producing enough thrust to move itself.

    The apparent warp discovered by laser Interferometry is much more extraordinary but also much less certain. It's only come from physicist discussing the results on a forum earlier this month, so it is really very early days, NASA has made no announcement nor have any papers been published. It will be a fun to watch the story unfold. Repeating the experiment in inert gases or partial vacuum has been suggested as the nest step, trying to eliminate potential errors in the Interferometry.

    This link http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/04/evaluating-nasas-futuristic-em-drive/ is a pretty good summary along with updates.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  8. whiteshadow

    whiteshadow New Member

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    well in this case the work has been done even on the ion propulsion right ? but ion propulsion has been in effect for very long time and even laser prop is comin into light do you guys think that this method is more effective than the others
     
  9. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    It's still making some thrust

    NASA have reported another series of test with the EM drive, trying to remove various potential sources of error. The last report is here at the NASA forums EM Drive Developments - related to space flight applications - Thread 5 It still appears to be producing thrust.

    The Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP), is about to fire up the wonderfully named Wendelstein 7X Stellarator, a fusion reactor with a very complex shape that works a bit differently than a tomamak. They hope to achieve 30 minute of stable operation. I expect they will be requiring an illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator
     
  10. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Or they risk being dis:int:ergret-ed, and being dis-intergratt-ed makes me sooooo angry! Mmmm!
     
  11. Wooki

    Wooki Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    OMG, you are going to cite the Max-Planck institute??? RFLMAO.:lol2:lol2:lol2:lol2

    Ok, here is something to blow your mind. What if I had a material that was 100% laser reflective and could make photonic chips that converted electricity into laser energy using quantum wells? Given this, what is to say you couldn't mod that same chip to produce ions at very low pressure ( as opposed to vacuum) instead of photons?

    Then what is to say that Bill Sweetman's magical Aurora hypersonic plane may actually be a subsonic near space transiting object? Oh and by the way the type of thrust produced by the chips makes it instantly invisible to radar.

    You know? Just saying (hypothetically of course)...

    :D :D

    Please do post more stories about the MP institute. Love to see them.

    cheers

    W
     
  12. SolarWind

    SolarWind New Member

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    When empirical evidence trumps accepted science, there is a need to rethink the accepted science. This is what scientific method is all about. The EM drive may prove a very important discovery that may require a serious rethinking of some accepted theories.
     
  13. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    That's the idea and all theories are subject to being disproved. There are very few laws in the natural sciences. When you get into quantum physics and quantum mechanics you enter a very strange universe. That is why it is so exciting.
     
  14. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    ?....set the controls for the heart of the sun!
     
  15. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    NASA have published a summary about the em drive here Evaluating NASA’s Futuristic EM Drive | NASASpaceFlight.com
    and one of the things it talks about towards the end is the Eagleworks team have developed a computer model. Up until now it's been empirical tinkering, now they have a model to play with, it already has help explain a few differences between the performance of different devices and allowed more informed modification of the devices.

    The originator, Richard Shawer has published an article at the IAC 205 conference describing uses of 2nd gen em drives http://www.emdrive.com/IAC14publishedpaper.pdf His company, SPR has signed some agreements with Boeing regarding technology transfer.

    So all in all, it's looking pretty positive. Perhaps we will get to Mars on an em drive powerd ship.
     
  16. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    It keeps producing thrust

    NASA have done a paper with the Em Drive in a vacuum that suggests it is producing 1.2mN/kW thrust - see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7kgKijo-p0ibm94VUY0TVktQlU/view It's only a small thrust at this stage but is a couple of orders of magnitude greater than the other propellantless drives such as light sails.
     
  17. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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  18. mfgcasa

    mfgcasa New Member

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    To give you an idea of how absurdly small 1.2mN/kW its 0.0012 Newtons to create enough energy to hover in the air it would require around 10 newtons per kg. Given its weight (Several kgs to produce 0.0012 Newtons) Its extremely inefficient. Thunderfoot explains this quite well on youtube.

    Its also quite possible the drive doesn't even work. Until a test is carried out in space we won't be for sure.

    Now then assuming that this drive even works. Its doubtful its application will be beyond adjustments in space for missions beyond our stars in maybe 200-1000 years assuming warp drives don't exist. whereby said adjustments have 100s of earth years to be carried out. Your not going to see and spaceship using this for its main thruster outside of Sci-fi. The thrust is just too small to be relevant.(Its less powerful then a water hose or just getting a tolder to simply start kicking something along.)

    Warp Drives may one day be a relevant way to travel. However today they require the entire mass(theoretically) of Jupiter for one jump. A massive gain from the entire mass in the universe(theoretically) a few years ago.
     
  19. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Gidday cobber, welcome to the forum. Interesting topic and a field that I think gets more exotic with each new breakthrough. I learnt many years ago to try and not frame it in a 3 dimensional world.