If we could have a space drive that did not use fuel then we could accelerate for decades using a nuclear power source. This would allow a spacecraft with a tiny amount of propulsion to accelerate to near light speed. DARPA has been funding the Nascent Light-Matter Interactions (NLM) project for about three years. This project is looking for functiojnal variations of the super controversial EMDrive. EMDrive was first created twenty years ago and claimed that a conical copper device bounced magnetic radiation in the chamber to generate propulsion without using fuel.
The goal of NLM is to integrate emerging phenomena with fundamental models that can describe and predict new functionality. These models will provide design tools and delineate the performance limits of new engineered light-matter interactions. Important applications to be addressed in the program include synthesizing new material structures for sources, non-reciprocal behavior, parametric phenomena, limiters, electromagnetic drives, and energy harvesting.
The DARPA NLM project is currently funded until May 2021. Mike McCulloch is the current DARPA EmDrive project leader. Mike presented some interim results in an embedded video below.
There are reports that the DARPA project was working with researchers in Spain who claim that forces of 0.1 newtons were generated. This needs to be confirmed. If confirmed then the system would be 5 times more powerful than the 0.02 newtons of some commercial ion drives.
SOURCES- DARPA, ANPA 19082020
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.