Theseus is going to be launching a demo cubesat which will use Cannae thruster technology to maintain an orbit below a 150 mile altitude. This cubesat will maintain its extreme LEO altitude for a minimum duration of 6 months. The primary mission objective is to demonstrate our thruster technology on orbit. Secondary objectives for this mission include orbital altitude and inclination changes performed by the Cannae-thruster technology.
Cannae’s thruster technology is capable of generating thrust from a few uN up through several newton thrust levels and higher levels. The Cannae thruster technology is particularly useful for small satellite missions due to low power, mass and volume requirements. Our thruster configuration for the cubesat mission with Theseus is anticipated to require less than 1.5 U volume and will use less than 10 watts of power to perform station keeping thrusting.
Once demonstrated on orbit, Theseus will offer our thruster platforms to the satellite marketplace
Cannae is commercializing proprietary propulsion technology requiring no on-board propellant to generate thrust.
The core of our technology uses the Lorentz Force imbalances created by our thrusters to create propulsion. Cannae has demonstrated 2 separate prototypes of a superconducting thruster which requires no dielectric material to generate thrust.
Inventor, Guido Fetta, delivered a paper on our first successful superconducting prototype demonstration at the 2014 AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference. Cannae has since improved upon the initial design and has demonstrated improved thrust and performance of our superconducting prototype at our Pennsylvania test facility.
Cannae is also commercializing a thruster that does not require superconducting operation in order to generate thrust. This thruster also requires no on-board propellant to generate a Lorentz Force imbalance. Cannae has demonstrated prototypes of this new thruster technology at their Pennsylvania test facility.
On August 17, Cannae announced plans to launch its thruster on a 6U cubesat. Each unit is a 10-centimeter cube, so a 6U satellite is the size of a small shoebox. Approximately one quarter of this will be taken up by the drive. Fetta intends the satellite to stay on station for at least six months, rather than the six weeks that would be typical for a satellite this size at a altitude of 150 miles. The longer it stays in orbit, the more the satellite will show that it must be producing thrust without propellant.
No launch date has yet been announced, but 2017 seems likely.
Roger Shawyer is still working on the EMDrive and a Chinese team led by Prof Yang at Xi'an Northwestern Polytechnic also had claims of successful results
After cubesats are proven and commercialized, Cannae will develop space freighters.
Using a Cannae-Drive-based system, payloads that are in a LEO orbit can be accelerated along the satellites orbital path. The increases to the velocity of the satellite raise the satellite orbit. In addition to the increased altitude of the orbit, orbital inclination changes can also be induced with the Cannae Drive system. The concept video below depicts a Cannae-Drive-thrusted vehicle which tows payload satellites from LEO to higher orbits.
Then deep space probes
The Cannae Drive creates a reactionless force that is used to propel space vehicles. The Cannae Drive significantly improves the economics and operation of satellites. The advantages of the Cannae Drive in Earth satellite applications is outlined in other sections of this website. For deep space probes, the Cannae Drive also provides advantages over propellant-based systems. In addition to improved economics and performance, the Cannae Drive allows new deep-space missions that are impossible using propellant-based propulsion systems.
The concept vehicle outlined in this section is used to propel a scientific instrument and communication payload with a mass of 2000 kgs to a 0.1 light year (LY) distance in a 15 year time frame. This vehicle uses existing superconductor and vehicle subsystem technology performance levels. No improvements to technological performance levels are required to build the vehicle described in this section.
The vehicle mass is 10,000 kgs with subsystem approximate mass of:
In May, 2016, Cannae claimed another successful demo of their superconducting thruster technology. Pictured above is the cooldown of the thruster (located in the steel dewar) with liquid helium. Cannae ran the current prototype in two orientations and saw thrust reversal when the thruster was inverted
SOURCES- Cannae, Popular Mechanics