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Plasma engine for micro UAV

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posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 04:26 AM
Next big future

This is a micro UAV engine ! I mean just how sneaky can you get ? this things so small that the UAV could be in and out and you wouldn't even register its presence.

Technology today is truely mind boggling. The Pdf link on the web page is also a very interesting read.

[edit on 10-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 07:41 AM
Cornell University

The UW Nanosatellite program is a student run program to design, build and launch the smallest self-propelled satellite (15kg) to be used in a cluster of satellites flown in 2002 as one of the first distributed satellite testbeds in space.

The actuation will be a set of eight pulsed plasma thrusters, to be used for both attitude and position control.

It seems that this research done at a university was for satellite thrusters - works obviousely ! putting this tech into a micro UAV is genius. And a self propelled 15 Kg satellite is, well quite frankly amazing.

[edit on 10-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 10:46 AM
Cool, but not going to be used in a terrestrial UAV.

The micro thruster will only work in vacuum and micro-gravity environments,ie space.
It provides so little thrust that if you were to hold it in your hand while it was operating at 100% you wouldnt even feel it.

The big ION engine driving Deepspace1 puts out less thrust than the weight of a single sheet of paper..

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 10:49 AM

The Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) Program will develop and demonstrate an extremely small (less than 7.5 cm), ultra-lightweight (less than 10 grams) air vehicle system with the potential to perform indoor and outdoor military missions.

Should read the links people take time to post for you.

They are being used for nano air vehicles - earth bound micro UAVs. There, you see they are being used here on earth and not just space and thats why i thought it was so cool.

Nano engines for nano UAVs.

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 12:56 PM
These are exactly what all the " how to get in to area 51 " threads people need!
Tiny UAV's with plasma swarms of bees. We could also use these for planet exploration (i.e. camera cluster bombs with hundreds of different cameras, sensors, etc.) in low atmosphere conditions. Sweet.

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 11:03 PM
If these can lift these micro uavs I agree that for a future mars exploration a swarm of these would be fantastic - a thousand pairs of eyes instead of one or two.

As for earth related uses, house clearence in a city would be an ideal use for a micro uav.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 12:03 AM
I think the difference of opinion is because in space there is no air.
An Ion Repulsion only amounts to the force of the Ions leaving the drive in space.

On earth the ions push surrounding air molecules. Like one of those Ionic air purifiers. No fan, just the push of the ions on the air.
Or one of those tin foil levitation toys.

Problem is that you need high voltage to power that baby. You need an extremely light weight high voltage and powerful power source.
You would need to plug that into a tiny unshielded nuke, or maybe tiny fuel cell. As usual, they openly showoff the technically unimportant parts of the device. The stand alone power supply is the real article of interest.
Of course you realize that if you had a power source the drive could scale to any size. Even nano, and the smaller you make it, the more efficient it becomes. Thanks to the inverse squared law.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 12:51 AM
Good insight Cyber....I do love good science.

posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 02:55 PM
BTW, Cyberian, this is the technology behind IronMan. Stark devised the uber power source, and the foot and hand jets are plasma engines. I'm not a comic geek, but the movie was awesome and the technology is actually about 20 years away. Good stuff.

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