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Using Microwaves, and relativity, to create thrust

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posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 09:20 AM
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Very interesting theory. And it has a working model as well
New Scientist

I can't attest to the science behind the model, but it's an interesting concept none the less.

The device that has sparked their interest is an engine that generates thrust purely from electromagnetic radiation - microwaves to be precise - by exploiting the strange properties of relativity. It has no moving parts, and releases no exhaust or noxious emissions. Potentially, it could pack the punch of a rocket in a box the size of a suitcase. It could one day replace the engines on almost any spacecraft. More advanced versions might allow cars to lift from the ground and hover. It could even lead to aircraft that will not need wings at all. I can't help thinking that it sounds too good to be true......

With that pedigree, you'd imagine Shawyer would be someone the space industry would have listened to. Far from it. While at Astrium, Shawyer proposed that the company develop his idea. "I was told in no uncertain terms to drop it," he says. "This came from the very top."

What Shawyer had in mind was a replacement for the small thrusters conventional satellites use to stay in orbit. The fuel they need makes up about half their launch weight, and also limits a satellite's life: once it runs out, the vehicle drifts out of position and must be replaced. Shawyer's engine, by contrast, would be propelled by microwaves generated from solar energy. The photovoltaic cells would eliminate the fuel, and with the launch weight halved, satellite manufacturers could send up two craft for the price of one, so you would only need half as many launches.


It makes on wonder why he was told by the top level administrators to "drop it". Wouldn't it make sense to at least put some research into a concept that could cut costs in half.




posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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posted by Rasobasi420

I can't attest to the science behind the model, but it's an interesting concept none the less.


The device generates thrust from electromagnetic radiation - microwaves to be precise - It has no moving parts and no exhaust or noxious emissions . . one day replace the engines on almost any spacecraft . .What Shawyer had in mind was a replacement for the small thrusters conventional satellites use to stay in orbit. The fuel they need makes up about half their launch weight, and also limits a satellite's life: once it runs out, the vehicle drifts out of position and must be replaced. Shawyer's engine, by contrast, would be propelled by microwaves generated from solar energy. The photovoltaic cells would eliminate the fuel, and with the launch weight halved, satellite manufacturers could send up two craft for the price of one, so you would only need half as many launches.[Edited by Don W]


“ . . why he was told by the top level administrators to "drop it". Wouldn't it make sense to at least put some research into a concept that could cut costs in half. [Edited by Don W]



That was Shawyer’s former employer who nixed the idea on company time, but now, he has a grant from the UK. See this from article:


One of the conditions of Shawyer's £250,000 funding from the UK's Department of Trade and Industry is that his research be independently reviewed, and he has been meticulous in cataloguing his work and in measuring the forces involved. "It's not easy because the forces are tiny compared to the weight of the equipment," he says.


Is Mr Shawyer another Robert Goddard?


The father of modern rocket propulsion is the American, Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard. Along with Konstantin Eduordovich Tsiolkovsky of Russia and Hermann Oberth of Germany, Goddard envisioned the exploration of space. A physicist of great insight, Goddard also had an unique genius for invention.

By 1926, Goddard had constructed and tested successfully the first rocket using liquid fuel. Indeed, the flight of Goddard's rocket on March 16,1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts, was a feat as epochal in history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. Yet, it was one of Goddard's "firsts" in the now booming significance of rocket propulsion in the fields of military missilery and the scientific exploration of space.
www.gsfc.nasa.gov...


The Wright Brothers actually were building powered gliders, in which they had many years flight experience of unpowered flight. Big fires come from little sparks!


[edit on 9/23/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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Nice find. The physics seems to back it up and it looks like this could be a big deal for low thrust space applications. Looks like the controls are in place to weed out the snake oil part of this so I look forward to seeing what happens with this....



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 11:57 AM
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My scientific training doesn't include relativity, but everything else there seems to make sense to me. Assuming he got that part right, this guy may actually be on to something. I wonder if this could be applied to other technology besides spacecraft. For example, imagine cars powered by such a device, perhaps a deliberately less efficient one so that our vehicles don't go zooming around at rocket speeds, but you get the idea.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 08:03 PM
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This looks promising, but it will need further testing and evaluation before any commercial application of the drive can be achieved. The physics isn't all that difficult, so it should be quite easy to replicate. The hard part, as has been suggested is getting the walls of the cavity to become superconducting at a reasonably high enough temperature.

Looks like the materials science guys are going to have to come up with better high temp superconductors. Start thinking outside the box for better ideas


You know what, I think this would make an excellent project for some graduate electrical engineer or scientist to work on. For a PhD or post grad work.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 07:32 AM
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posted by DragonsDemesne

My scientific training doesn't include relativity . . [Edited by Don W]


I think he meant Newtonian. The second law of motion, equal and opposite reactions, etc.



“ . . but everything there seems to make sense to me. Assuming he got that part right, this guy may actually be on to something. I wonder if this could be applied to other technology besides spacecraft.


This rings of the old ion motor that was discussed in the 1960s. We knew than and know now that chemical motors will not achieve speeds necessary for traversing the great distances of space. It’s over 50,000 AUs to the Oort Cloud. The ion motor - running off an on-board plutonium power source - would gradually accelerate the space craft as long as the motor was running. Like a Harrier Jump–jet, you reversed the thrust nozzle to slow it when you approach your destination.




[edit on 9/24/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 09:53 AM
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When I go to the link, its just a leader article to get you to subscribe to their magazine. Does anyone a link to the full length article? Would be nice to see it.

___________
Edit.... ack sorry. I didnt notice the link right below the header. my bad


[edit on 29-12-2006 by Dango]



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 11:47 AM
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If gives you a link to his published papers on his design in PDF format. That was a much better read than any article could describe it.

I have gone over it roughly, and it seems to be in check, seems legitimate.
The only thing with it is it yeilds 16 mN thrust... that's not exactly alot. So theres plenty of work to be done on the original design before it can be used feasably within atmo. Outside atmo, such as on sattelites, yes, thats enough thrust to gradually re-align the sattelite to ensure it continues to operate. Which is what it's original design is for anyways, so as for the creator, he's allready successful.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:11 AM
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Originally posted by GhostITM
This looks promising, but it will need further testing and evaluation before any commercial application of the drive can be achieved. The physics isn't all that difficult, so it should be quite easy to replicate. The hard part, as has been suggested is getting the walls of the cavity to become superconducting at a reasonably high enough temperature.

Looks like the materials science guys are going to have to come up with better high temp superconductors. Start thinking outside the box for better ideas


You know what, I think this would make an excellent project for some graduate electrical engineer or scientist to work on. For a PhD or post grad work.



hello

can i ask you a question???

instead of using microwaves which need heavy magnetrons to generate and have poor efficiency (50% to 70%) why not use higher frequencies like instead like light or infrared waves ...


using solid state cheap laser light....

and you could use optical fibres instead as cavities to do the reflecting...

many possibilities exist....

this would allow miniturisation and less power consumtion and higher efficenciy...


remember both microwaves and light waves are electromagnetic waves...


x08

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by esecallum
instead of using microwaves which need heavy magnetrons to generate and have poor efficiency (50% to 70%) why not use higher frequencies like instead like light or infrared waves ...

remember both microwaves and light waves are electromagnetic waves...


perhaps the higher frequencies don't have enough 'push' to do the job?
i'm clueless about this kinda stuff these days (was a whiz in my school years.. but now it's all turned to mush.. killed by the monotony of routine)



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 03:49 PM
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Where does the energy come from?



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:13 AM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
It makes on wonder why he was told by the top level administrators to "drop it". Wouldn't it make sense to at least put some research into a concept that could cut costs in half.


If they had done that to me, I woulda done just what he did; went and got a private fund going from some venture capitalists. Then, I'd go into business for myself once I got it set up. I'd also make it a point to put a hefty markup on it when it came to selling to the company that told me to "drop it", for posterity purposes entirely. *smirk*

TheBorg



posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 05:25 AM
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Originally posted by x08

Originally posted by esecallum
instead of using microwaves which need heavy magnetrons to generate and have poor efficiency (50% to 70%) why not use higher frequencies like instead like light or infrared waves ...

remember both microwaves and light waves are electromagnetic waves...


perhaps the higher frequencies don't have enough 'push' to do the job?
i'm clueless about this kinda stuff these days (was a whiz in my school years.. but now it's all turned to mush.. killed by the monotony of routine)




higher frequencies actually have more energy..

e=hf



posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 12:11 AM
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I don't know jack about relativity, but the flaw in this device quite simple if you skip over all the big equation crap he filled his paper with.

I didn't see the flaw at first but then I read this.

Take a look at Fig 2.4 of Shawyer's Paper

When the EM wave/particle/whatever bounces elasticly off of the wall of the device, it creates a force on the wall perpendicular to the wall itself, so Shawyer's sidewall force lines Fs1 and Fs2 in Fig 2.4 of his paper are not in the right direction, they should be slanted slightly in the direction of the F2 force line.

Or I could be completely wrong.

[edit on 14-1-2007 by CastleBravo]



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