Exodus Propulsion Technologies Claims Huge Space Propulsion Breakthrough

Dr. Charles Buhler and Exodus Technologies claims that systems with electrostatic pressure differences or electrostatic divergent fields gives systems with a center of mass with non-zero force component (aka generate movement). Buhler is NASA’s subject matter expert on electrostatics. They want to move to demo the system in orbit. These kinds of claims are controversial but the work seems to be thorough. It will only cost about $500k to $1M to create a rideshare mission into orbit to test the system. The mass of an early orbital system would greatly exceed the active materials of the propulsion, which would reduce performance. High performance space propulsion would need to increase the active materials as a percentage of the mass of the craft.

Dr. Charles Buhler discusses an experimental propulsion results based on asymmetrical electrostatic pressure, in a device described in International Patent# WO2020159603A2. The device is described as a system and method for generating a force from a voltage difference applied across at least one electrically conductive surface. The applied voltage difference creates an electric field resulting in an electrostatic pressure force acting on at least one surface of an object. Asymmetries in the resulting electrostatic pressure force vectors result in a net resulting electrostatic pressure force acting on the object. The magnitude of the net resulting electrostatic pressure force is a function of the geometry of the electrically conductive surfaces, the applied voltage, and the dielectric constant of any material present in the gap between electrodes.

Dr. Buhler has experience working with electrostatic discharge & ESD safety for the Space Shuttle Program, the International Space Station Program and the Hubble Space Telescope Program. He was also a Co-Investigator for three NASA Research Announcements funded by the Mars Exploration Program, and is currently working on NASA’s Dust Project focused on utilizing electrostatic methods to remove dust from personnel and equipment that will be sent to the Moon through NASA’s Constellation Program.

Dr. Buhler discussed his independent research into field-effect propulsion systems at Exodus Technologies, leading to a patented new propulsion technology that requires no fuel or ejection-mass to produce thrust.

Buhler told The Debrief that measuring thrust in terms of a percentage of gravity reflects the force generated divided by the test article.

In 2019, the system was 100,000 times weaker than the mass of the test article. They seem to have maintained the thrust whil greatly reducing
the mass of the system. The thrust was about 300-400 micronewtons in 2019 experiments. The claim of over one test mass of force could be 1 millinewton and a 0.1 gram test article. If they increase the thrust to 1 newton then a 100 gram test article would could be self lifting or levitating. The system would have strong performance in orbit.

One newton (N) of force is required to lift a mass of 100 grams vertically upwards.

Another viable combination would be 10 millinewtons for a 1 gram test article. They have said that the strongest force they generated is 10 millinewtons. IF they can setup the experiment correctly they could levitate a 1 gram test article. He described it again to Tim Ventura. He describes the current device as kind of like a crappy battery.

Buhler says they commonly measured the forces in milliNewtons, but they prefer to describe the thrust in terms of gravity since that is the ultimate goal of propulsion physics.

They moved it into a high vacuum experimental system (in 2021), which eliminated noise and other issues.

Any current in the system makes the force go away.

They went away from asymmetrical electrostatic to thin film types and then to liquids applied to surfaces. the liquids applied to surfaces is something like a battery. He applies free and bound charges to get the forces. They are optimizing the chemistry to optimize the charge injection. The system is microscopic but the force stays high.

This seems to imply that the forces were not increased that much but the mass was greatly reduced. This would suggest 1 millinewton and a 0.1 gram test article. They were doing DC tests. The effect is field based and not frequency based. There are ways to increase the force with AC.

There are theoretical versions that are RF based which could have great results.

Their theory of the electrostatics and the physics seems to work. As they change what they are doing, all of the expected forces are created. They will eventually hit dielectric limits.

The original talk was here at the Dec 23, 2023 APEC conference. The APEC talk was heavy on theory and formulas.

Andrew Neil Aurigema and Charles Buhler are named on the patent.

The magnitude of the net resulting electrostatic pressure force is a function of the geometry of the electrically conductive surfaces, the applied voltage, and the dielectric constant of any material present in the gap between electrodes. The invention may be produced on a nanoscale using nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes. The invention may be utilized to provide a motivating force to an object. A non-limiting use case example is the use of electrostatic pressure force apparatus as a thruster to propel a spacecraft through a vacuum.


43 thoughts on “Exodus Propulsion Technologies Claims Huge Space Propulsion Breakthrough”

  1. Comments about “ion wind” only show you didn’t read the article. They’ve clearly proven their devices can’t be using such a thing. Buhler has claimed no exception to conservation of energy or momentum. You’re ignoring a lot of charts included specifically to address this. And did you notice the part about being granted a patent? It’s already been through due diligence by a lot of people who have heard of these things too (the laws, precedents, objections, history!) Maybe learn more before attempting judgment.

    • Give me a break: The patent office stopped requiring working prototypes years ago, these days they grant patents for complete garbage.

      It means nothing these days that you got a patent.

  2. Gobbledygook.

    Perpetual motion machine.

    I’ll bet any amount of money anyone wants to bet it won’t work, because Conservation of Energy.

    • So you are wrong (take your nay saying elsewhere).

      Perpetual motion does not work because the current theories/models do not account for heat transference and resistance.

      The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time. This system proposes the creation of force/thrust through the expenditure of energy, not the sustainment of energy.

  3. I think you’re conflating Shawyer’s EM drive and Woodward’s Mach effect thrusters. I think both have been thoroughly tested by Martin Tajmar’s group and refuted

  4. Edge electric field leakage may be interacting with the surrounding environment.

    The better ground test would be an experiment package on a torsion pendulum trying to keep surrounding structure to a minimum, inside a large vacuum chamber with substantial distances to the chamber walls. Sadly the really big vacuum chambers usually belong to NASA and booked well in advance.

  5. An encore of Thomas Townsend Brown’s asymmetric capacitors.

    With the twist they say to have found the secret sauce to make them scalable up to the Newtons.

    Well, prove it! at those force levels it should be trivial to show they work.

  6. Isn’t the definition of action (T-U)t not Ut, in the case where what multiplies t is constant, and an integral otherwise? Since your steps require the precise formula you used, I believe this is an error in your argument.

    I don’t see how momentum is conserved if you’re accelerating a rocket without propellant. If you’re arguing that you have an exception to conservation of momentum, every step in your derivation had better be explicit and airtight.

    • Well, I’d have to see the derivation. It’s possible they’re measuring the test article’s attraction to induced charges on nearby surfaces. But if the researcher is an experienced scientist or engineer sn objection i thought of in a minute ought to have been on his mind too. This isn’t some nut in a suburban basement , he’s a NASA
      ut in a space center basement. Ill be willing to listen.

      BTW, vacuum testing isn’t as important as being far way from any body which could be charged up by the test field so it is truly isolated.

      As fas as physics is concerned, electrostatic fields certainly induce forces in Maxwell’s equations (via a simple constant, if memory serves). So there is a mechanism to turn electric fields into force, and hence into a change of momentum. But that would be an internal force in the surroundings of the test article if we are to preserve momentum in the standard way.

      He must be balancing the account somehow- maybe he says he’s pushing on spacetime itself and transferring his momentum there by inducing a stress in space time. That would in principle be measured as a gravity wave though it would likely be too tiny to measure by any gravitational interferometer. Fascinating.

  7. The physics looks suspect to me. Just from the “motion of the center of mass” slide the author claims the action is S = U*t (potential energy times time) and then appeals to the Principle of Least Action.

    In physics the action should have the form S = integral[(T – U)dt] in a system where energy is conserved. Here the nonzero kinetic energy T used in the conservation of energy expression just previously (which amounts to the claim that the system’s Hamiltonian has the form H = T + U) suddenly plays no role in the claimed expression S = U*t for the action. This makes no sense to me, and is but one concern that sticks out upon trying to parse what the author is doing.

  8. I think they may be on to something. They do need to take it into a ZeroG inviroment to test it. The electrical current in our atmosphere may be masking its true potential. Remember the aye sayers saying Elon Musk and his engineers could never reland their busters safely and reuse them. But he proved everyone wrong…

    • B.. b… b… bûllshít. If ANY device is (with its hoopalah) supposed to deliver newton-scale forces, it doesn’t need Space to determine so. At all. Just a few hours in any of NASA’s dozens of vacuum testing chambers, which are exquisitely tuned to present “as if in Space” environments for the devices under test.

      Also … do try not to use pseudo-facts to enhance the original author’s case.

      Musk’s engineers were never ‘told’ they could not ‘land and reuse’ rocket boosters. The prevailing engineering optimization calculus didn’t warrant TRYING to do such an operation, although the Russians had done so decades before. Musk’s big “Ah-Hah!” was to realize that a rocket motor could be made cheaply enough to put aboard a rocket that itself would be cheap enough, to radically change the launch-economics proposition enough so as to revolutionize how space “exploration and exploitation” would develop in the near future.

      Anyway … I’m just setting the record straight.

      • An O/T question:

        Suppose you had not one but two space elevators attached to a sunlit, airless body.

        At the far end, a solar sail statite on both.

        The cables cross each other as the letter “X” and at the intersection a flying windlass with a third tether that drops straight down.

        By having the two statites tack towards or away from each other the intersection windlass rises and falls away, or towards—the surface…its own tether reading in or out.

        Using Archimedean principles alone—how much can I lift?

      • Sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve been involved with Andrew and Charlie, helping on this development for since 2010. Many of the metal parts seen in the photos were made by myself. I don’t understand the physics, as it is far over my head; but the mechanics I do understand. It does work, as I’ve seen it tested in vacuum chambers many times.
        This is not really new physics, it is known but ignored physics; that Charlie has spent the last 14 years refining, and be finally has the physics figured out. It has been trial and error over the years; figuring out why what worked and why what did not work didn’t work, and refining what did work.
        The last time I saw a test in person; they were generating 10 milli-newtons in full vacuum, running a test spinner.

        • You said that it works, and that it’s not new physics. I don’t understand.

          Does it violate conservation of momentum? If so, then it’s new physics. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. But it would be new physics.

          Or is it consistent with conservation of momentum? So it’s an ion thruster or a photon drive or something else that throws something out the back to create the acceleration forward? If the space probe would be gaining forward momentum, then what would be gaining the backward momentum in order to conserve momentum?

        • Hi Gregg
          Interesting. So how high are the forces they’re getting right now? I haven’t read anything or head anything about much higher forces.

          • 100 mili-newtons at this time. Now working on the equipment required to fabricate one newton thruster. Scaling up is not easy!

  9. Hard to tell but the bit referring to the Constellation program in the current tense might be a hint as to their connection with present-day NASA 🙂

    • I have a systems design that produces Artificial Gravity. It produces a preasure on objects placed on it that keeps the object on the surface of my device.Upside down and sideways and upright. Also it allows object to move within the device freely. 865-356-3799 or [email protected]
      Get in touch if you are interested, thank you.
      R. Hilljr

      • If you had such a thing you wouldn’t be soliciting in comments, you’d have all the funding you want from the Pentagon.

    • And conservation of energy (In this house we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics). Stick a reactionless thruster on the end of a spinning arm and you are getting free power out of nothing. This is actually a super easy test to do at claimed thrust levels, like a Crookes radiometer.

      <<1:1000 chance this is real. But worth chasing and debunking on super low chance there is something in it.

      • Clearly, a claim to break conservation of momentum is just as absurd as a claim to break conservation of energy. But it’s still fun to think about how the former would cause the latter. And I’m not sure I understand how your method would work. If a reactionless drive and its battery are put in a black box on the end of the spinning arm, then the arm would start spinning, and the battery would be losing energy. And the interior of the black box would heat up.

        That violates conservation of momentum. But how does it violate conservation of energy? You could use the arm to drive a generator to get energy, but that energy really just came from the battery in the box. So it looks like energy is still conserved.

  10. Ion wind again, maybe?
    Show me a 100 gram object self-lifted (i.e. carrying itself, the power source, and the propulsion source) to orbit by field propulsion that isn’t ion wind and I’ll absolutely get behind that.
    Until then, I will remain skeptical of something like this.

      • Eh, I really should say I will, too. Because any kind of ion wind that can lift loads to orbit (even though 100 grams is small) would be quite an improvement if it can be scaled up without needing huge amounts of power that would make it untenable.

  11. Isn’t this just the Biefeld–Brown effect (which is now more comprehensively explained by QI – quantitative Inertia) ?

    • I don’t think so. These inventors are claiming, rather incredibly, that their devices internally generate a net force on the device, *without* generating or needing a thrust (movement of mass-energy per conservation of momentum) in the opposite direction.

  12. The chart indicates that it produces adequate thrust to negate gravity. This is sufficent thrust for an elementarry student to validate and I am not seeing the need for going to LEO.

  13. WTF has happened at NASA? They seem to be regularly puking up stuff these days that anybody with even a HS grasp of physics knows can’t work. It’s embarrassing!

    OK, to be fair, I used to read NASA STAR for recreation back when I was in college in the early 80’s, and some of the things I found in their were pretty cringeworthy. But even so, this thing is a bad joke, if you understand any real physics.

    • Dear Brette Bellmore,

      You are right, asymmetry in an electric field does not generate any thrust, however, a Hermann inertial dipole is the simpler cousin of Warp Drive. An anti-gravity plate pushes up a gravity plate and a gravity plate above it pulling the anti-gravity plate upwards. Together they can fly while each plate alone, will follow a geodesic curve of maximal proper time and will fall in a gravity field. What is currently missed is that not only inertial mass generates gravity, charge also does, i.e. not the energy of the charge but the divergence of the field. This unfortunately cannot be used in static high voltage capacitors because the dielectric layer which is supposed to be accelerated has induced dipoles which are oppositely aligned with the external field of the conducting plates. A solution for a Bondi inertial dipole must therefore be dynamic. Please refer to “Electro-gravity via geometric chronon field and on the origin of mass” in ResearchGate. This version is much more correct than the peer reviewed one which was published in 2017. The model has nothing more than non-geodesic accelerations of gradients of scalar fields. The EM phenomenon is described via the acceleration of a gradient of a Robert Geroch time function. As you can read, what we call the energy of the electric field is described as a weak acceleration 8.61cm/sec^2 per 10^6 volts /1mm. In fact, due to opposite unexpected gravity by charge it is 4.305cm/sec^2.
      You can also see that the theory reaches the mass ratio Muon/electron and the inverse Fine Structure constant. Although (41) is closer to the accepted value of the FSC, (42) and (40) seem to be closer to the real value. Note that any propulsion by an inertial dipole is way to extract energy from spacetime on the expense of the gravitational energy of far bodies of mass by the Dennis Sciama theory.

      Kind regards,
      Eytan Suchard.

    • Exactly so. One of the most resilient sets of equations in Physics is

      F = ma
      a = dv/dt and v = ∫a dt
      Ek = ½mv² … ‘k’ for kinetic energy

      The exactness of these (really transcribed accurately, unlike the above) in predicting acceleration changes, velocity changes, energy investments, power requirements, efficiency scaling, and all the rest is nothing short of breathtaking. ANY ANOMALIES in the measurements taken-and-observed do not come from “unknown physics”. They come from measurement errors, of estimates of system scaling that are not matching the actual apparatus capabilities.

      No one is anywhere near — as in within even 1 order of magnitude near — coming out with a thruster using any variation of ion-acceleration which is close to the on-Earth’s-surface gravitational pull force for the same mass. Almost all, aren’t even within 3 orders of magnitude.

      But NASA also has an outreach program where it’ll spend relatively microscopic amounts of money “investing” in patently physics-formulæ breaking technologies. Which in turn fail to break the laws of physics.

      ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
      ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

      • Jerry Pournelle was a supporter of the outreach program justifying said support as partially a gamble (if something did pan out, why…} and partially a commitment to leaving no stone unturned. Crackpot sounding ideas that don’t pan out as say propulsion might yet prove useful to the crew working on invisible aircraft or be the basis for transparent aluminium.

  14. NASA funded a mission for a drive with similar claims by James Woodward recently. The test didn’t work I believe because of a spacecraft issue. It was called the Mach drive and used microwaves somehow. Does anyone know where that is now and how the above relates to that?

  15. These guys must have gotten NASA SBIR funding. I’d love to review SBIR proposals because some I’ve read are really “odd”.

  16. Well my field happens to be electrostatic charging of dust particles and I’m going to simply say this is a bunch of techno gibberish

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