The TDS VF2 – thrust: 1/32g (2013 specs.)
It is time to have a look at the state of the art of E.M engines: TDS VF2 . If you’re new to the blog, for a better comprehension, I invite you to read my last post, where I deepen the working principle of electromagnetic propulsion. [Important: please read the note * at the bottom of this page]
In ASPS‘s engine, the basic thruster unit is composed by 3 disc-shaped plates that define two capacitors with a shared central plate. The capacitors work at the same potential using AC current. While the external plates have the same potential, the internal plate is always at a different potential.
Fig. 1 – Magnetic fields in double capacitor central plate
As shown in Figure 1, once powered with AC the charge movements E1 and E2 between the plates creates magnetic fields B1 and B2 inside the capacitors. Due to the mirror configuration of the thruster unit, the magnetic fields always move in opposite directions and the central plate is exposed to both fields: this is an excellent position where to generate a Lorentz force!
In fact as shown in Figure 2 on the central disc is wound up a wire, which is electrically isolated from the surface of the plate. When the current I flows through the spires, a Lorentz force is generated by the interaction with magnetic fields B1 and B2. As the current follows the circular path of the wire, it moves outward in the upper side of the disc and inward in the lower side, then, when the AC phase changes, the direction of the current reverses. This means that the flow direction is synchronized with both magnetic fields and then Lorentz forces F1 and F2 always thrust in the same direction. In the engine description on Calmagorod is omitted the part that explains how the device actually nullify the reaction force, however, this is the secret behind this engine , so we have to wait the deposit of the complete patent.
Fig. 2 – Lorentz force inside the spires using alternate current
In Fig.3 is shown in detail the actual realization of central disc (upper), where we can notice the wiring, and external disc (lower). The white substance is a dielectric paste.
Fig. 3 – Plates details
If we look at TDS VF2 it’s easy to locate the thruster unit:
Please notice how it bulges out of the prototype shape. This configuration changes the architecture of a future E.M starship because part of the cylindrical hull must be modified to accommodate the three discs. However future thrusters might be optimized and thus reduced in size to fit in the hull.
As stated before, ASPS is working to improve the engine thrust to 1.1g, because its goal is the prototype take-off. Unfortunately the Association is facing a lot of technical challenges to reach this ambitious goal and the success is bound to the overcome of these difficulties.
One big problem, as we can sense from Fig 2, is that E.M waves between the capacitors must be focused on the central plate instead of being irradiated like in a common antenna. It’s not easy for the Association to solve this problem because antenna researches aim toward the improvement of range and thus irradiation, so ASPS is practically alone in this kind of experimentation.
The biggest problem however is that the system impedance must be drastically reduced in order to obtain as much power as possible in form of current. Here on Neo Leges Motus Laureti commented that he needs to obtain 30A from 900W input power. This would be possible only if the impedance is 1 Ohm or less. With higher values the power is dissipated in heat, so intense that literally fries the circuitry. Unfortunately the impedance can’t be decreased easily in PNN-E, because when it falls below a given value, the system generates a SWR that destroys the power supply.
Last but not least, when functioning PNN-E produces massive E.M radiation, so who works in proximity of the prototype must wear a protective suit. Laureti found a curious but effective solution: he modified a medieval chain mail to work as a Faraday cage.
As personal comment, I would like to add “secondary” variables that affect system behavior:
- the choice of the material to use for plates and dielectric
- the optimal spires number in the central disc coil and how this value affect Lorentz force
- the working frequency : Laureti wrote that from its value depends the prototype dimension. 144Mhz means a 2 meters-wide prototype, while higher frequency means smaller devices. In practice PNN-E follows the rule for antenna dimensioning: Length = 300/f(MHz). This make sense since dipole is synonymous for antenna.
However, while testing PNN-E and in particular TDS VF2, ASPS discovered that the thruster doesn’t follow the common law of inertia, because E.M propulsion literally “accelerates on its own acceleration”. Hence there is the need for ASPS to define a totally new law of inertia that would allow an E.M starship to cover several light years in few seconds! It sounds astonishing but ASPS seems confident in theory effectiveness.
IF practical experimentation (orbital tests) will validate this theory, it means that mankind has found the key for expanding through the stars!
EDIT August 10th 2015: I forgot to mention that ASPS is not looking for funding, because they haven’t this problem anymore. The official presentation of PNN is uniquely bound to the solution of all technical problems related to take-off.
1. Specs. from Calmagorod.org (in Italian)
2. The capacitor thruster patent at Espacenet
* 11/19/2016: sorry for this late update but I forgot to do it. According to Laureti’s clarification in this article the principle is deliberately wrong:
[..] If one day the official physics will recognize that the displacement current and its magnetic field does not exist I’ll say that what is described at www.calmagorod.org(read: PNN CAPACITORS THRUSTER) IS WRONG.
If they won’t recognize its nonexistence, should read that Maxwell’s equations must be rewritten, I’ll always say that what is in the site is the PNN thrust procedure.
Since Calmagorod is online no orthodox physicist told me that the above description is wrong, because if they did they should say that Maxwell’s equations are wrong!