Roger Shawyer invented the Emdrive. NASA is testing the EMdrive and the Cannae drive and getting interesting results Shawyer presented in October, 2014.
EMDrive results have not been conclusively proven yet and there is no proven underlying theory and any scaling has not been determined.
There are interesting results in the 50-900 micronewton ranges. There does seem to be scaling with increased power levels.
Shawyer sees scaling up the superconducting version of EMdrive to 300 Newtons per kilowatt combined with radioisotope thermoelectric generators or small scale nuclear fission systems to achieve 200 kilowatts for a Alpha Centauri ten year flyby probe. A probe that reaches about 60% of lightspeed and covers 4 light years in ten years.
300 newtons per kilowatt would be scaling up the energy to thrust efficiency by 300 times.
NASA Eagleworks now calculate scaling to many Newtons if EMdrive matches Sonny Whites quantum vacuum theories
Sawyer projected interstellar probe
Shawyers’s Development of a Demonstrator Engine
Although the experimental thruster had verified the static thrust equation, it became apparent that the concept would not become generally accepted until a viable engine could be demonstrated. Accordingly, a proposal for the design, manufacture and test of a complete demonstrator engine was submitted to DTI. A Research and Development grant was awarded in September 2003 and the work started with a mission analysis phase.
This work enabled the specification of the demonstrator engine to be optimised against the requirements of a typical commsat mission. Unlike the experimental thruster, the engine would be rated for continuous operation and extensive design work was required to increase the specific thrust by raising the design factor and unloaded Q.
The engine was built with a design factor of 0.844 and has a measured Q of 45,000 for an overall diameter of 280 mm. The microwave source is a water cooled magnetron with a variable output power up to a maximum of 1.2 kW.
To obtain the predicted thrust the engine must maintain stable resonance at this high Q value. Major design challenges have included thermal compensation, tuning control and source matching.
The engine was tested in a large static test rig employing a calibrated composite balance to measure thrust in 3 directions, up, down and horizontal. A total of 134 test runs were carried out over the full performance envelope, with a maximum specific thrust of 214mN/kW being measured.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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