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Chinese researchers claim they’ve confirmed the theory behind an "impossible" space drive, and are proceeding to build a demonstration version. If they’re right, this might transform the economics of satellites, open up new possibilities for space exploration –- and give the Chinese a decisive military advantage in space. To say that the "Emdrive" (short for "electromagnetic drive") concept is controversial would be an understatement. According to Roger Shawyer, the British scientist who developed the concept, the drive converts electrical energy into thrust via microwaves, without violating any laws of physics. Many researchers believe otherwise. An article about the Emdrive in New Scientist magazine drew a massive volley of criticism. Scientists not only argued that Shawyer’s work was blatantly impossible, and that his reasoning was flawed. They also said the article should never have been published.
Originally posted by Kr0n0s
Well, you may be right but there have been many things that others have said "should not be published" but are important to look at and have made others stand up and take notice.
18. Q. How can the EmDrive produce enough thrust for terrestrial applications?
A. The second generation engines will be capable of producing a specific thrust of 30kN/kW. Thus for 1 kilowatt (typical of the power in a microwave oven) a static thrust of 3 tonnes can be obtained, which is enough to support a large car. This is clearly adequate for terrestrial transport applications.
1. Q. Is the thrust produced by the EmDrive a reactionless force? A. No, the thrust is the result of the reaction between the end plates of the waveguide and the Electromagnetic wave propagated within it. 2. Q. How can a net force be produced by a closed waveguide? A. At the propagation velocities (greater than one tenth the speed of light) the effects of special relativity must be considered. Different reference planes have to be used for the EM wave and the waveguide itself. The thruster is therefore an open system and a net force can be produced. 3. Q. Why does the net force not get balanced out by the axial component of the sidewall force? A. The net force is not balanced out by the axial component of the sidewall force because there is a highly non linear relationship between waveguide diameter and group velocity. (e.g. at cut off diameter, the group velocity is zero, the guide wavelength is infinity, but the diameter is clearly not zero.) The design of the cavity is such that the ratio of end wall forces is maximised, whilst the axial component of the sidewall force is reduced to a negligible value. 4. Q. Does the theory of the EmDrive contravene the accepted laws of physics or electromagnetic theory? A. The EmDrive does not violate any known law of physics. The basic laws that are applied in the theory of the EmDrive operation are as follows: Newton’s laws are applied in the derivation of the basic static thrust equation (Equation 11 in the theory paper) and have also been demonstrated to apply to the EmDrive experimentally. The law of conservation of momentum is the basis of Newtons laws and therefore applies to the EmDrive. It is satisfied both theoretically and experimentally. The law of conservation of energy is the basis of the dynamic thrust equation which applies to the EmDrive under acceleration,(see Equation 16 in the theory paper). The principles of electromagnetic theory are used to derive the basic design equations.
Following the implementation of the 2003 Federal Budget, however, all advanced propulsion research was canceled. Obviously no one wants NASA pouring their entire budget into advanced theories but the total spend over the 6 years on this project was $1.6 million. For comparison NASA's 2008 budget is $17.318 billion. Clearly the amount the BPP Project was costing was virtually insignificant compared to the vast sum of money NASA waste on fruitless exercises. Yet still there was - and continues to be - no room for a valuable project aimed solely at trying to solve the greatest problem in manned space exploration and who's annual budget amounts to less than 0.002% of NASA's total budget.
In the R-1 (research and development), P-1 (procurement) and O-1 (operations) budgets for 2010, just over $50 billion is listed for classified programs, the largest-ever sum. The Pentagon's "black" operations, including the intelligence budgets nested inside it, are roughly equal in magnitude to the entire defense budgets of the UK, France or Japan, and 10 per cent of the total.
According to a 12-page summary report posted at the panel's website, hsf.nasa.gov, NASA would need at least $3 billion a year beyond its current $18.69 billion to realize the ambitious goals.
Originally posted by stevegmu
If China is making it, it isn't going to work, unless they copy it from someone else's prototype. The Chinese are good at reverse engineering and copying technology, but not at developing and manufacturing their own.
Originally posted by rogerstigers
reply to post by dooper
My money always goes to the inventors who come up with a great idea and make it practical, THEN tell the masses. Why buy into scientific approval first, unless it is just to get more money?
EmDrive (also Relativity Drive) is the name of a spacecraft propulsion system proposed, and reportedly developed, by Roger Shawyer. New Scientist ran a cover story on EmDrive in its 8 September 2006 issue. The device is a Magnetron with a specially-shaped, fully-enclosed tapering resonator cavity whose area is greater at one end. The inventor claims that the device generates thrust even though no detectable energy leaves the device. The inventor proposes to use it as a spacecraft propulsion system that uses no fuel (other than electricity), and no reaction mass.
It is a fair criticism that New Scientist did not make clear enough how controversial Roger Shawyer?s engine is. We should have made more explicit where it apparently contravenes the laws of nature and reported that several physicists declined to comment on the device because they thought it too contentious.
But should New Scientist should have covered this story at all? The answer is a resounding yes: it is, after all, an ideas magazine. That means writing about hypotheses as well as theories.
And let?s not forget that Shawyer has experimental data that has convinced peer reviewers that he is onto something. He believes he can explain his machine's behavior in terms of existing physical laws, which is what the theorists contest.
The great thing is that Shawyer?s ideas are testable. If he succeeds in getting his machine flown in space, we will know soon enough if it is ground-breaking device or a mere flight of fancy.
Jeremy Webb, Editor, New Scientist
UK research into a propellant-free microwave engine designed for spacecraft propulsion is stirring interest from US and Chinese aerospace companies, its developer has claimed.
Despite sounding like the stuff of science-fiction, SPR (Satellite Propulsion Research), the company behind the EmDrive – which was first reported by The Engineer in November 2004 – insists its technology is gathering momentum in the international aerospace community.
According to the managing director of Roger Shawyer, the engine takes microwave radiation produced by a magnetron and feeds it into a specially shaped resonant cavity. The waves push against the end wall. Because of the difference in wave velocity, being higher at one end that the other, there is a momentum transfer. The result is a measurable net force from the cavity against its surroundings.