EmDrive propellant-free, microwave thruster to be tested in space.
A New Concept in Spacecraft Propulsion
UK based company Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR Ltd), has demonstrated a remarkable new space propulsion technology.
They successfully tested an experimental thruster and a demonstrator engine which use patented microwave technology to convert electrical energy directly into thrust.
A model of the EmDrive. EM Drive prototype by NASA/Eagleworks. Credit: NASA Spaceflight Forum
The new engine could allow us to send a spacecraft to Mars in only ten weeks.
No propellant is used in the conversion process.
Thrust is produced by the amplification of the radiation pressure of an electromagnetic wave propagated through a resonant waveguide assembly.
The test in space if successful, a mission using EmDrive could travel to Pluto in just 18 months, compared to the 9.5 years.
Here is the Principle of Operation of the system.
Guido Fetta CEO of Cannae Inc., the inventor of the Cannae Drive, said in an announcement:
“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 technology requires no on-board propellant to generate thrust and will provide station-keeping for a cubesat flying below a 150 mile orbital altitude. The demonstration satellite will remain in this orbit for a minimum of six months.