Sunday, June 3, 2007

13. Transport

This is an important category. The first large scale territorial states depended upon external transportation infrastructures to expand. We can always walk, though states failed to develop until we could ride, i.e., until we elaborated other commodity choices of transportation. They were different in different areas of the world. Three examples historically are given--the horse, the camel, and the llama. Then we can discuss the current environmental difficulties with an oil-based transportation and how we do already have solutions for it. However, lots of corruption keeps oil in place against its more consumer friendly challengers for this category.

Horses, and Camels, and Llamas, Oh My: Honoring more Ecologically Suited Transportation

Brother of early sociologist Max Weber, Alfred Weber, described a 'horse state' (not his term though his idea) as an important innovation in human/environmental capacities that allowed humans to develop larger territorial jurisdictions. It was a merging of nomadic riders who could with agricultural populations who were unable to. This lead to the first large scale states and empire in world history from the Shang in proto-China, to the Assyrians in the current Middle East. Regional variations of the horse state were the 'camel state' (how could you have Islamic expansion without in in these areas, or the Caliphates?); or the llama state (how could you have the Incan Empire in South America without this multi-purpose transport, textile, and food supply--which was a nationalized infrastructure? The politics of this empire would look very different without riding in on the back of the local's dependencies for transport controlled by the state).

So think of the horse, the camel or the llama in the same category as the automobile. Sometimes, as this video shows, the camel wins easily over the car given what suits the area involved well.

Keith Bellows: Celebrating the camel
16:06 min

Keith Bellows gleefully outlines the engineering marvels of the camel, a vital creature he calls "the SUV of the desert." Though he couldn't bring a live camel to TED, he gets his camera crew as close as humanly possible to a one-ton beast in full rut.

And in the Arctic areas, only sleds of frozen fish work for creating any large scale transportation. In conclusion, the point is that transportation is a major consumptive category of human existence. Much human scale and range depends upon its reliability and sustainability suited to a particular ecoregion.

However, we still pretend that the unadaptable automobile is a good idea despite it breaking down whenever we forget to build its roads or provide its oil supply.

As for removing one difficulty of oil toward more localized solutions--here we go. A water based car has finally made it to mass production? Genepax, of Japan, is looking to connect with a larger auto manufacturer. The water-based cars have been in existence for at least 20 years. None have politically made it this far however--without being bought up and shut down, or without their main inventor being killed (like Stan Meyer for instance).

Water based car in Japan
1 min 22 sec

What if you are in the desert without water? Perhaps this will make it to mass production soon.

Solar powered electric car
14:10 min

If it fails to make it to mass production, you can make one on demand. Build it yourself. The plans are here:

What about if its dark, cold as ice, and we are without water? Well, we have air--in the compressed air car. This mass manufactured car engine runs on pure air: without thermodynamics, without pollution.

The Air Car
8:52 min

The MDI air car is being mass manufactured. The first location was by Tata Motors in India from March 2007. It got some American media attention when it appeared at a New York City Auto show in 2008. Next will be an American production model. That is scheduled presumably for production starting in 2009--in the New England area in the last news that I saw about it.

So we already have solar/electric, water, and air cars. Why do we have gasoline monopolies on transportation, tell me once more? I will tell you: corporate and government interlocking corruption is why we consume gasoline. It's the raw material regime phenomenon I talked about before. Read Edwin Black's Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives to get up to speed on this history.

What about smarter roads as well?

A few interesting ideas to creating a self-funded 'road ecology' for transportation infrastructure maintenance--that minimizes empty cars and creates a way to fund the infrastructure away from reliance on a cycle of institutionalizing gasoline (through gasoline taxes) to maintain roads, into different sources of road infrastructure funding based on traffic itself. Which makes far more economic sense--though it could be biased against equality of access for the poorer in society to fund roads solely this way. Just expand it as a choice.

Robin Chase: Getting cars off the road and data into the skies (13 minutes)

"Robin Chase founded Zipcar, the world’s biggest car-sharing business. That was one of her smaller ideas. Here she travels much farther, contemplating road-pricing schemes that will shake up our driving habits and a mesh network vast as the Interstate. With Zipcar, Robin Chase turned the concept of car-sharing -- and carbon-saving while you're at it -- into a reality and even a full-blown trend. If she weren't a proven start-up entrepreneur, you might imagine Robin Chase as a transportation geek, some dedicated civil servant, endlessly refining computer models of freeway traffic. Or if she weren't such a green-conscious problem-solver, you might take her for a businesswoman only. Ultimately, the best way to understand Chase is simply as a remarkable innovator. Case in point: In 2000, Chase focused her MIT business training on founding Zipcar, now the largest car-sharing business in the world. Using a wireless key system and Internet billing, members pick up [and access a choice of different 'status' and use-dependent] Zipcars [instead of access to only one type of car] at myriad locations anytime they want one. The idea is at once ordinary and highly sophisticated, with powerful technologies applied to tasks as prosaic as grocery shopping. But the result couldn't be more straightforward: fewer cars, less carbon. Since its founding, Zipcar has doubled in size every year, making Chase's biggest ideas and her latest company, GoLoco [grouped trip sharing index of others so you can travel together if desired], look mighty promising. "Robin Chase has already changed the way we drive, but she's not satisfied. Now she wants to change the way we live as well."--Harvard Gazette"

Her WiFi-microwave radiation intensive 'solutions' however are harmful to the very biological life she wants to help: us and other species. I suppose that comes from the MIT specialized training that has left her clueless about the ecological bioelectric damages caused by her solutions. However, remove the WiFi and it's a better assortment of ideas. WiFi extensions would have terrible second order effects on health as well as civic freedom since it would yield a police state. And a police state is the key to unsustainability and corruption. It is a mistake to concentrate only on the materials, because the issue of unsustainability an unrepresentative, tyrannous, political framework that encourage repression and more corruption. A surveillance grid, discriminatingly utilized by those in the pilot seat, can only be utilized for corrupt and unsustainable goals instead of open representative ones like she imagines.


Mark said...


13. transport and
34. energy
36. energy storage

without burning or pollution products: the air engines, perhaps the simplest solution ever: pistons fail to require thermodynamics [tiny explosions or burning things (incredibly inefficient anyway as an energy source!)] to move them. Air can move them. Here are some links to working air engines, and compressed air storage mechanisms then attached to engines.

excerpt from:


Here's an Air Car arrangement.

VIDEO: Frenchman Guy Negre's Air Car (additionally features an Australian rotary Wankel AIR engine, though only Negre's is going into mass production right now, 2007) (8:52)
Beyond Tomorrow 2005 more info:
MDI (Motor Development International, Inc., located in Nice, France),
on the show Beyond Tomorrow (2005). Supposedly, this program
indicates they are starting to sell these commercially in 2006--in
2, 4, or 6 cylinder versions starting around $15,000.

Ideally, one tweak would be to put some solar power panels on the
roof and an air compressor onboard, and the whole infrastructure of
even having to stop to "refuel" (put in more compressed air) is

Negre just signed mass production of the air car!

MDI signed an agreement with Tata Motors - NEW

An engine which uses air as fuel
Tata Motors and technology inventor, MDI of France, sign agreement

MUMBAI, 5th of February 2007

Tata Motors, in keeping with its role as the leading company in India for automotive R&D, has signed an agreement, in yet another exciting engineering and development effort, with MDI of France for application in India of MDI's path-breaking technology for engines powered by air.

The MDI Group is headed by Mr. Guy Negre, who founded the company in the 1990s in pursuit of his dream to pioneer an engine using just compressed air as fuel - which may be the ultimate environment-friendly engine yet. Besides, the engine is efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and capable of other applications like power generation.

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata's supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Guy Negre has said, "MDI has for many years been engaged in developing environment-friendly engines. MDI is happy to conclude this agreement with Tata Motors and work together with this important and experienced industrial group to develop a new and cost-saving technology for various applications for the Indian market that meets with severe regulations for environmental protection. We are continuing the development with our own business concept of licensing car manufacturers in other parts of the world where the production is located close to the markets. We have also developed this new technology for other applications where cost competitiveness combined with respect for environmental questions has our priority."

- About MDI
MDI is a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice (Southern France) where Mr. Guy Negre and Mr. Cyril Nègre, together with their technical team, have developed a new engine technology with the purpose of economising energy and respect severe ecological requirements - at competitive costs.

- About Tata Motors
Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia and in Australia. Tata Motors and Fiat Auto have announced the formation of an industrial joint venture in India to manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets. Tata Motors already distributes Fiat-branded cars in India. The company's international footprint include Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. in South Korea; Hispano Carrocera, a bus and coach manufacturer of Spain in which the company has a 21% stake; a joint venture with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based body-builder of buses and coaches; and a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market pickup vehicles in Thailand. Tata Motors has research centres in India, the UK, and in its subsidiary and associate companies in South Korea and Spain.


VIDEO: CNN-India: Car that runs on air in India soon (01:11) on-air-in-india-soon/36806-11.html


Mark said...

Man In Michigan Builds His Own Flying Saucer
Posted Jan 23, 2007 by Critical_Conformity in World and viewed 14700 times
Alfie Carrington has spent half his life building a flying saucer.
Full story:
Despite his lack of engineering experience, Carrington pored over books, magazines and studies about aviation and spent nearly $60,000 for some of the materials needed for this saucer.

Carrington does it because he believes he has discovered a simple design for an aircraft that aeronautical engineers have spent countless millions trying to build.

Carrington has two patents on the design and a company called Vertex Aerospace. His work caught the attention of NASA, which invited him to a conference in the mid-1990s where engineers scratched their heads when he confessed he knew nothing about computers.

But Carrington doesn't have time for naysayers. In eight months, he hopes to launch his dream, assuming he can raise at least another $40,000 to complete the project.

Mark said...

Mollusk-inspired fan:

A three-dimensional logarithmic spiral is found in the shells of mollusks, in the spiraling of tidal-washed kelp fronds, and in the shape of our own skin pores, through which water vapor escapes.

Liquids and gases flow centripetally through these geometrically consistent flow forms with far less friction and more efficiency.

PAX Scientific (USA) has designed fans, propellers, impellers, and aerators based on this shape.

Computational Fluid Dynamics and Particle Image Velocimetry tests showed the technology's streamlining effect can reduce energy requirements in fans and other rotors from between 10 and 85%, depending upon the application; the fan blade design also reduces noise by up to 75%.

The first air-handling products scheduled for release are fans in computers, auto air-conditioners, and kitchen range hoods.

The Pax streamlining principle could also lead to improvements in industrial mixers, water pumps, marine propellers, and devices for circulating blood in the body.

Mark said...

Whale-inspired aircraft wings:

Unlike commercial aircraft wings with a straight leading edge, the leading edge of humpback whale flippers are scalloped with prominent knobs called tubercles.

In wind tunnel experiments conducted by Phillip Watts of Applied Fluid Engineering, Inc. and Dr. Frank Fish, West Chester University, the scalloped flipper proved a more efficient wing design than the smooth edges used on airplanes.

In tests of a scalloped vs. a sleek flipper, the scalloped flippers have 32% lower drag, 8 percent better lift properties, and withstood stall at a 40 percent steeper wind angle.

This discovery has the potential to optimize not only airplane wings but also the tips of helicopter rotors, propellers, and ship rudders. The improved stall angle would add a margin of safety while making planes more maneuverable, while the drag reduction would improve fuel efficiency.

Mark said...

[more "energy storage, what storage?"]

MAGNETIC MIRACLE: Inventor's design consumes no fuel, emits no fumes

By Bud Kenny
Free Press, Little Rock, AR
April 14-27, 1994

Devices that have truly improved the human condition - such as electricity, the telephone and the airplane - were created by people who passionately believe their inventions would make the world a better place to live. Troy Reed of Tulsa, Oklahoma is such a person.

Reed has invented and patented a motor that consumes no fuel and emits no fumes. It is powerful enough to turn a 7,000-watt generator, which is enough electricity to run an average home. Production of the Reed Magnetic Motor for use by the general public may begin by year's end.

Reed, 57, has also invented an automobile called "Surge" that employs his new technology. Unlike a battery-powered car, Reed's Surge does not have to be plugged in to be recharged. The car recharges itself as it rolls down the highway at speeds of up to 85 miles an hour. Reed and actor Dennis Weaver, a cousin and inventor in the project, plan to make the first highway test-run of the car this summer.

Reed said he has been contacted about coverage of the test run by, among others, 20/20, 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, Primetime Live and CNN. A representative of CNN, Reed said, has already seen the car and might broadcast daily updates during the journey.

The idea for this technology came to Reed in a number of dreams and visions over the past 35 years. He said he got the first in 1959 while employed as a machinist making 70 cents an hour. Thirty years later, in 1989, he put those dreams to the test, turning a hand crank that put the first Reed Magnetic Motor in motion. That prototype was seven feet tall, weighed more than 500 pounds, had four moving parts and powered a 500-watt generator. His latest motor takes two car batteries to start (they are re-charged by the generator), is 20 inches high, weighs less than 200 pounds, has one moving part and runs a 7000-watt generator.

If Reed's motor works as well as he says it does, it would be a rather amazing technological breakthrough. After all, it would mean a person could live anywhere one wanted with all the comforts and never have to pay an electric bill. One would also be able to drive to work, or anywhere else, without consuming fuel. And best of all, one could do these things without polluting the environment.

Although most people have never heard of the Reed Magnetic Motor, it is well known in the science world. Since 1989 Reed and his motor have been featured at numerous international scientific conferences - the most recent on in Denver in March. Reed also has been written up in scientific journals and is included in the latest edition of Monuments of Mars, a book of inventors written by former NASA science writer Richard Hoagland.

If Reed has his way, his motor soon will no longer be a scientific curiosity. Currently he is in the final stages of granting a license to produce the motor to an American company and a company in India. Reed would not give the names of the companies because he said he is still "negotiating."

"I've been approached by lots of companies from all over the world," Reed said. "I wanted the company that builds this motor to be doing it for the same reason I developed it - to help mother earth."

Reed did say that the companies granted licenses would start producing the motors for the consumer almost immediately. "The technology is already there, it is just a matter of putting all together the right way to make it work," Reed said.

The 1989 prototype uses a horizontal shaft with several magnets on it. Above the shaft are four vertical spring-loaded pistons with a magnet on the end closest to the shaft. Turning the hand crank spins the horizontal shaft and the magnetic spring-loaded pistons move up and down to trigger the motion of the shaft and the magnetic force field. Once the shaft is put into motion, it continues to spin until a brake is applied.

Instead of moveable pistons, the latest model of the motor uses and electronic system and stationary magnets to start and control the motion of the shaft. Consequently, the only moving part in the motor is the horizontal shaft. In the current model, the shaft turns in bearings, but Reed said the mass-produced model will not have the bearings. Instead, the shaft will be magnetically suspended inside the motor casing. Suspending the shaft means there will be nothing to wear out, or make noise, Reed said.

Reed is aware inventions such as his often end up being shelved away from the consumer by a large oil company. So Reed said he has proceeded with caution. "Just like the companies that are going to produce these motors, I made sure that my investors were motivated for the right reasons," Reed said. "If they are only in it for the money, then I turned them away. On the other hand, if they share my desire to see this technology in the marketplace to help save the environment, then we made a deal."

Reed said he also has been careful in how he financed the development of his motor. He said he talked with other would-be world-saving inventors who were put out of business by the government for violating interstate security exchange laws. "They needed capital to develop their ideas, so they sold their investors stock," Reed said. "It always takes longer to develop something like this than you think it will. So when it came time to make good on that stock, they couldn't do it."

When Reed needed capital, instead of issuing stock he gave his investors promissory notes that were contingent on his invention eventually making it to market. Once the motors are available to the public, Reed said he will offer his investors the option of "holding the promissory notes or exchanging them for stock."

However, the federal government is aware of what is going on at Reed Technologies. In fact, Reed said NASA has volunteered to test the motor.

Reed estimated it will cost about $3,500 per motor to mass produce his invention.

Bud Kenny of Hot Springs is scheduled to begin a 15-year world-walking tour on June 5 (see related story page 23). Kenny will live in a small house on wheels, which will be pulled by two mules. Electricity for the house will be provided by alternative electrical generating systems such as solar panels and a pedal generator that will store power from the rotation of Dylan's wheels. Kenny's first stop on his world tour will be around the first of August in Tulsa, where Reed will help Kenny develop the electrical system for the home.

and a short video on it


FREE ENERGY MACHINE electric vehicle with no batteries to run just a 12 volt battery to start and run the radio and fan blower


THE CYNERGY DRIVE BY TOYOTA IS TO KEEP THE PETROL DUDS HAPPY still need to by GAS TO RECHARGE BATTERIES WHAT A LOAD OF BS get rid of the gas machine and fit one of these surge technolgy units into your hybrid and run for free and forever.

more info on

Mark said...

[using microwave radiation in a resonating cavity and other emf to create resonating thrust due to strange properties of relativity; this is a prototype idea and the actual materials issues are problematic, though an interesting use of harnessing a force that most physicists attempt to demote in their constructive work, instead here it is enhanced:

"The key, says Shawyer, is to make the cavity superconducting. Without electrical resistance, currents in the cavity walls will not generate heat. Engineers in Germany working on the next generation of particle accelerators have achieved a Q of several billion using superconducting cavities. If Shawyer can match that performance, he calculates that the thrust from a microwave engine could be as high as 30,000 newtons per kilowatt - enough to lift a large car."]

Relativity drive: The end of wings and wheels?
08 September 2006;jsessionid=NMGHKBGMCGMM

Justin Mullins

Web Links
Shawyer's theory paper (pdf)

Look, no wings! The trip from London to Havant on the south coast of England is like travelling through time. I sit in an air-conditioned train, on tracks first laid 150 years ago, passing roads that were known to the Romans. At one point, I pick out a canal boat, queues of cars and the trail from a high-flying jet - the evolution of mechanised travel in a single glance.

But evolution has a habit of springing surprises. Waiting at my destination is a man who would put an end to mechanised travel. Roger Shawyer has developed an engine with no moving parts that he believes can replace rockets and make trains, planes and automobiles obsolete. "The end of wings and wheels" is how he puts it. It's a bold claim. Read Shawyer’s theory paper here (pdf format).

Of course, any crackpot can rough out plans for a warp drive. What they never show you is evidence that it works. Shawyer is different. He has built a working prototype to test his ideas, and as a respected spacecraft engineer he has persuaded the British government to fund his work. Now organisations from other parts of the world, including the US air force and the Chinese government, are beating a path to his tiny company.

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.

When I meet Shawyer, he turns out to be reassuringly normal. His credentials are certainly impressive. He worked his way up through the aerospace industry, designing and building navigation and communications equipment for military and commercial satellites, before becoming a senior aerospace engineer at Matra Marconi Space (later part of EADS Astrium) in Portsmouth, near where he now lives. He was also a consultant to the Galileo project, Europe's satellite navigation system, which engineers are now testing in orbit and for which he negotiated the use of the radio frequencies it needed.

Dangerous idea
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.

So why the problem? Shawyer argues that for companies investing billions in rockets and launch sites, a new technology that leads to fewer launches and longer-lasting satellites has little commercial appeal. By the same token, a company that offers more for less usually wins in the end, so Shawyer's idea may have been seen as too speculative. Whatever the reason, in 2000, he resigned to go it alone.

Surprisingly, Shawyer's disruptive technology rests on an idea that goes back more than a century. In 1871 the physicist James Clerk Maxwell worked out that light should exert a force on any surface it hits, like the wind on a sail. This so-called radiation pressure is extremely weak, though. Last year, a group called The Planetary Society attempted to launch a solar sail called Cosmos 1 into orbit. The sail had a surface area of about 600 square metres. Despite this large area, about the size of two tennis courts, its developers calculated that sunlight striking it would produce a force of 3 millinewtons, barely enough to lift a feather on the surface of the Earth. Still, it would be enough to accelerate a craft in the weightlessness of space, though unfortunately the sail was lost after launch. NASA is also interested in solar sails, but has never launched one. Perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise, as a few millinewtons isn't enough for serious work in space.

But what if you could amplify the effect? That's exactly the idea that Shawyer stumbled on in the 1970s while working for a British military technology company called Sperry Gyroscope. Shawyer's expertise is in microwaves, and when he was asked to come up with a gyroscopic device for a guidance system he instead came up with the idea for an electromagnetic engine. He even unearthed a 1950s paper by Alex Cullen, an electrical engineer at University College London, describing how electromagnetic energy might create a force. "It came to nothing at the time, but the idea stuck in my head," he says.

In his workshop, Shawyer explains how this led him to a way of producing thrust. For years he has explored ways to confine microwaves inside waveguides, hollow tubes that trap radiation and direct it along their length. Take a standard copper waveguide and close off both ends. Now create microwaves using a magnetron, a device found in every microwave oven. If you inject these microwaves into the cavity, the microwaves will bounce from one end of the cavity to the other. According to the principles outlined by Maxwell, this will produce a tiny force on the end walls. Now carefully match the size of the cavity to the wavelength of the microwaves and you create a chamber in which the microwaves resonate, allowing it to store large amounts of energy.

What's crucial here is the Q-value of the cavity - a measure of how well a vibrating system prevents its energy dissipating into heat, or how slowly the oscillations are damped down. For example, a pendulum swinging in air would have a high Q, while a pendulum immersed in oil would have a low one. If microwaves leak out of the cavity, the Q will be low. A cavity with a high Q-value can store large amounts of microwave energy with few losses, and this means the radiation will exert relatively large forces on the ends of the cavity. You might think the forces on the end walls will cancel each other out, but Shawyer worked out that with a suitably shaped resonant cavity, wider at one end than the other, the radiation pressure exerted by the microwaves at the wide end would be higher than at the narrow one.

Key is the fact that the diameter of a tubular cavity alters the path - and hence the effective velocity - of the microwaves travelling through it. Microwaves moving along a relatively wide tube follow a more or less uninterrupted path from end to end, while microwaves in a narrow tube move along it by reflecting off the walls. The narrower the tube gets, the more the microwaves get reflected and the slower their effective velocity along the tube becomes. Shawyer calculates the microwaves striking the end wall at the narrow end of his cavity will transfer less momentum to the cavity than those striking the wider end (see Diagram). The result is a net force that pushes the cavity in one direction. And that's it, Shawyer says.

Hang on a minute, though. If the cavity is to move, it must be pushed by something. A rocket engine, for example, is propelled by hot exhaust gases pushing on the rear of the rocket. How can photons confined inside a cavity make the cavity move? This is where relativity and the strange nature of light come in. Since the microwave photons in the waveguide are travelling close to the speed of light, any attempt to resolve the forces they generate must take account of Einstein's special theory of relativity. This says that the microwaves move in their own frame of reference. In other words they move independently of the cavity - as if they are outside it. As a result, the microwaves themselves exert a push on the cavity.

"How can photons confined inside a cavity make the cavity move? This is where relativity and the strange nature of light come in"Each photon that a magnetron fires into the cavity creates an equal and opposite reaction - like the recoil force on a gun as it fires a bullet. With Shawyer's design, however, this force is minuscule compared with the forces generated in the resonant cavity, because the photons reflect back and forth up to 50,000 times. With each reflection, a reaction occurs between the cavity and the photon, each operating in its own frame of reference. This generates a tiny force, which for a powerful microwave beam confined in the cavity adds up to produce a perceptible thrust on the cavity itself.

Shawyer's calculations have not convinced everyone. Depending on who you talk to Shawyer is either a genius or a purveyor of snake oil. David Jefferies, a microwave engineer at the University of Surrey in the UK, is adamant that there is an error in Shawyer's thinking. "It's a load of bloody rubbish," he says. At the other end of the scale is Stepan Lucyszyn, a microwave engineer at Imperial College London. "I think it's outstanding science," he says. Marc Millis, the engineer behind NASA's programme to assess revolutionary propulsion technology accepts that the net forces inside the cavity will be unequal, but as for the thrust it generates, he wants to see the hard evidence before making a judgement.

Thrust from a box
Shawyer's electromagnetic drive - emdrive for short - consists in essence of a microwave generator attached to what looks like a large copper cake tin. It needs a power supply for the magnetron, but there are no moving parts and no fuel - just a cord to plug it into the mains. Various pipes add complexity, but they are just there to keep the chamber cool. And the device seems to work: by mounting it on a sensitive balance, he has shown that it generates about 16 millinewtons of thrust, using 1 kilowatt of electrical power. Shawyer calculated that his first prototype had a Q of 5900. With his second thruster, he managed to raise the Q to 50,000 allowing it to generate a force of about 300 millinewtons - 100 times what Cosmos 1 could achieve. It's not enough for Earth-based use, but it's revolutionary for spacecraft.

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.

Optimising the cavity is crucial, and it's as much art as science. Energy leaks out in all kinds of ways: microwaves heat the cavity, for example, changing its electrical characteristics so that it no longer resonates. At very high powers, microwaves can rip electrons out of the metal, causing sparks and a dramatic loss of power. "It can be a very fine balancing act," says Shawyer.

To review the project, the UK government hired John Spiller, an independent space engineer. He was impressed. He says the thruster's design is practical and could be adapted fairly easily to operate in space. He points out, though, that the drive needs to be developed further and tested by an independent group with its own equipment. "It certainly needs to be flown experimentally," he says.

Armed with his prototypes, the test measurements and Spiller's review, Shawyer is now presenting his design to the space industry. The reaction in China and the US has been markedly more enthusiastic than that in Europe. "The European Space Agency knows about it but has not shown any interest," he says. The US air force has already paid him a visit, and a Chinese company has attempted to buy the intellectual property associated with the thruster. This month, he will be travelling to both countries to visit interested parties, including NASA.

"A Chinese company has tried to buy rights to the microwave thruster"To space and beyond
His plan is to license the technology to a major player in the space industry who can adapt the design and send up a test satellite to prove that it works. If all goes to plan, Shawyer believes he could see the engine tested in space within two years. He estimates that his thruster could save the space industry $15 billion over the next 10 years. Spiller is more cautious. While the engine could certainly reduce the launch weight of a satellite, he doubts it will significantly increase its lifetime since other parts will still wear out. The space industry might not need to worry after all.

Meanwhile Shawyer is looking ahead to the next stage of his project. He wants to make the thrusters so powerful that they could make combustion engines obsolete, and that means addressing the big problem with conventional microwave cavities - the amount of energy they leak. The biggest losses come from currents induced in the metal walls by the microwaves, which generate heat when they encounter electrical resistance. This uses up energy stored in the cavity, reduces the Q, and the thrust generated by the engine drops.

Fortunately particle accelerators use microwave cavities too, so physicists have done a lot of work on reducing Q losses inside them. The key, says Shawyer, is to make the cavity superconducting. Without electrical resistance, currents in the cavity walls will not generate heat. Engineers in Germany working on the next generation of particle accelerators have achieved a Q of several billion using superconducting cavities. If Shawyer can match that performance, he calculates that the thrust from a microwave engine could be as high as 30,000 newtons per kilowatt - enough to lift a large car.

This raises another question. Why haven't physicists stumbled across the effect before? They have, says Shawyer, and they design their cavities to counter it. The forces inside the latest accelerator cavities are so large that they stretch the chambers like plasticine. To counteract this, engineers use piezoelectric actuators to squeeze the cavities back into shape. "I doubt they've ever thought of turning the force to other uses," he says.

No doubt his superconducting cavities will be hard to build, and Shawyer is realistic about the problems he is likely to meet. Particle accelerators made out of niobium become superconducting at the temperature of liquid helium - only a few degrees above absolute zero. That would be impractical for a motor, Shawyer believes, so he wants to find a material that superconducts at a slightly higher temperature, and use liquid hydrogen, which boils at 20 kelvin, as the coolant. Hydrogen could also power a fuel cell or turbine to generate electricity for the emdrive.

In the meantime, he wants to test the device with liquid nitrogen, which is easier to handle. It boils at 77 kelvin, a temperature that will require the latest generation of high-temperature ceramic superconductors. Shawyer hasn't yet settled on the exact material, but he admits that any ceramic will be tricky to incorporate into the design because of its fragility. It will have to be reliably bonded to the inside of a cavity and mustn't crack or flake when cooled. There are other problems too. The inside of the cavity will still be heated by the microwaves, and this will possibly quench the superconducting effect. "Nobody has done this kind of work," Shawyer says. "I'm not expecting it to be easy."

Then there is the issue of acceleration. Shawyer has calculated that as soon as the thruster starts to move, it will use up energy stored in the cavity, draining energy faster than it can be replaced. So while the thrust of a motionless emdrive is high, the faster the engine moves, the more the thrust falls. Shawyer now reckons the emdrive will be better suited to powering vehicles that hover rather than accelerate rapidly. A fan or turbine attached to the back of the vehicle could then be used to move it forward without friction. He hopes to demonstrate his first superconducting thruster within two years.

What of the impact of such a device? On my journey home I have plenty of time to speculate. No need for wheels, no friction. Shawyer suggested to me before I left that a hover car with an emdrive thruster cooled and powered by hydrogen could be a major factor in converting our society from a petrol-based one to one based on hydrogen. "You need something different to persuade people to make the switch. Perhaps being able to move in three dimensions rather than two would do the trick."

What about aircraft without wings? I'm aware that my feeling of scepticism is being replaced by a more dangerous one of unbounded optimism. In five minutes of blue-sky thinking you can dream up a dozen ways in which the emdrive could change the world. I have an hour ahead of me. The end of wings and wheels. Now there's a thought.


Mark said...

From another website: "I posted about the mysterious em-drive awhile back and now here's another development... a faster than light capable 'warp' drive that the US air force is showing remarkable interest in. So, perhaps these stories are cover to explain the invention of tech they already secretly have. Perhaps we're getting close to a disclosure of some sort.

Welcome to Mars express: only a three hour trip
[the link is gone]

AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

The theoretical engine works by creating an intense magnetic field that, according to ideas first developed by the late scientist Burkhard Heim in the 1950s, would produce a gravitational field and result in thrust for a spacecraft.

Also, if a large enough magnetic field was created, the craft would slip into a different dimension, where the speed of light is faster, allowing incredible speeds to be reached.

Switching off the magnetic field would result in the engine reappearing in our current dimension.

The US air force has expressed an interest in the idea and scientists working for the American Department of Energy - which has a device known as the Z Machine that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine - say they may carry out a test if the theory withstands further scrutiny.

Professor Jochem Hauser, one of the scientists who put forward the idea, told The Scotsman that if everything went well a working engine could be tested in about five years.

However, Prof Hauser, a physicist at the Applied Sciences University in Salzgitter, Germany, and a former chief of aerodynamics at the European Space Agency, cautioned it was based on a highly controversial theory that would require a significant change in the current understanding of the laws of physics.

"It would be amazing. I have been working on propulsion systems for quite a while and it would be the most amazing thing. The benefits would be almost unlimited," he said.

"But this thing is not around the corner; we first have to prove the basic science is correct and there are quite a few physicists who have a different opinion.

"It's our job to prove we are right and we are working on that."

He said the engine would enable spaceships to travel to different solar systems. "If the theory is correct then this is not science fiction, it is science fact," Prof Hauser said.

"NASA have contacted me and next week I'm going to see someone from the [US] air force to talk about it further, but it is at a very early stage. I think the best-case scenario would be within the next five years [to build a test device] if the technology works."

The US authorities' attention was attracted after Prof Hauser and an Austrian colleague, Walter Droscher, wrote a paper called "Guidelines for a space propulsion device based on Heim's quantum theory".

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:52 pm Post subject: 'The G-Engines are Coming' - headline 1956 Reply with quote

Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point begins in his office at Jane's Aviation Weekly with someone anonymously dropping a clipping with that headline on his desk.

The article reads that "in the United States and Canada, research centers, scientists, designers and engineers are perfecting a way to control gravity - a force infinitely more powerful than the mighty atom.

The result of their labors will be antigravity engines working without fuel - weightless airliners and space ships able to travel at 170,000 miles per second."

The article states the research is supported by the Glenn L Martin Aircraft Company, Bell Aircraft, Lear and several other US firms.

It quotes Lawrence Bell as saying they are "already working" on canceling out gravity. The head of Advanced Programs and VP in charge of the "G-Project" at Martin Aircraft, George S Trimble, adds that manufacturing a gravitational field drive "could be done in about the time it took to build the first atom bomb."

Cook almost throws it in the waste basket, because almost as soon as such reports were published in '56 it was as though they'd never existed.

The research either never happened, was discontinued, or went deep black. Cook, picking up the thread, begins by tracking down Trimble. He asked his media contact friend at Lockheed Martin, Daniella Abelman to look up Trimble without telling her specifically why. She called back soon after, and said that Trimble was alive and retired in Arizona. "Sounds hard as nails, but an amazing guy. He's kinda mystified why you want to talk to him after all this time, but seems okay with it. Like you said, it's historical, right?"

"Right," Cook said.

Abelman called back a few days later. "Separated by an ocean and five time zones," Cook writes, "I heard the catch in her breathing."

"It's Trimble," she said. "The guy just got off the phone to me. Remember how he was fine to do the interview? Well, something's happened. I don't know who this old man is or what he once was, but he told me in no uncertain terms to get off his case. He doesn't want to speak to me and he doesn't want to speak to you, not now, not ever. I don't mind telling you that he sounded scared and I don't like to hear old men scared. It makes me scared. I don't know what you were really working on when you came to me with this, Nick, but let me give you some advice. Stick to what you know about; stick to the damned present. It's better that way for all of us."

Edited by: Rigorous Intuition at: 1/8/06 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:19 pm Post subject: Re: 'The G-Engines are Coming' - headline 1956 Reply with quote

the body of raw info seems to suggest that either thay have such tech in hiding, or are willing to work their asses off making it seem like they do when they don't. I'm just not sure I can't buy any of the probable motives for them to stage a cover up of nothing. So... it seems like wishful thinking, but I'm feeling like it's true. Now a lot of possibly bad news is riding in the back seat... but how wonderful if we can really build such vehicles.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:32 pm Post subject: Re: 'The G-Engines are Coming' - headline 1956 Reply with quote
Grav-lev has been here since the end of WWII. I have seen black-and-white film of German experimental aircraft bouncing along the ground and a few feet into the air... the Nazis were so far along that Project Paperclip was developed to keep 'em working. It was a saucer-shaped craft, too. Hauneby I was on the drawing board in 1939, II in 1943, and III in 1945. Copies of these drawings are in the book Reich of the Black Sun ny Joseph P. Farrell. --MaryK


Mark said...

Another closed resonating emf resonating cavity form of propulsion.

I've posted some interesting exceptions to

classical graviation theory (DePalma)

classical inertial assumptions (DePalma)

classical electron models ('hydrino')

Here's another classical caveat:

From another link:

If this is real, and it seems more possible than any other such thing I've ever seen, this could be amazing, if some people have been keeping this sort of thing secret the cat is about to get out of the bag. This was covered in the last Fortean Times btw.

Quote:A force for space with no reaction

Tom Shelley reports on an extraordinary concept which, if it turns out to be as good as it promises, could have a profound impact on engineering

A reactionless force motor, designed for space use, has the potential to drive objects on until they reach speeds close to that of light. Upon first inspection it looks as if it cannot possibly work, however one of the UK's leading engineers has developed a prototype which has been endorsed by academics and government alike.

Defying conventional wisdom, it is low cost, is said to obey the laws of physics (as they are currently understood) and, in the longer term, could revolutionise transport and actuation.

The Emdrive is the brainchild of Roger Shawyer who, in the past, has had charge of some of Britains most advanced aerospace projects.

The germ of the present idea, he says, started when he worked at Sperry Gyroscope and was asked to look for a reactionless system for missile guidance.

Many of you may, at this point, throw up your hands and say that a reactionless system is not possible while citing Newton's Third Law. [actually citing 'the second Newtown', DePalma, it is correct.]

However while photons obey Newton's Laws in some respects, the idea of the solar sail being a typical example, in other respects, light and objects travelling at or near light speed do not obey them.

(Some people say that gyroscopes disobey the Third law - perhaps readers would like to comment).

In essence, the Emdrive is a resonating bottle full of microwaves.

Because microwaves are a low frequency form of light, their behaviour is governed by Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity.

And while microwaves and other forms of electromagnetic radiation may be thought of as very fast moving particles, they also have to be thought of as waves. At the same time that the constituent particles are moving at light speed, or their phase velocity, energy is transferred by the wave aspect travelling at group velocity.

Group velocity is the result of waves of different wavelengths interacting with each other.

According to Einstein, the phase velocity of electromagnetic waves is the speed of light in the appropriate medium whatever happens and in whatever moving frame of reference the observer happens to be; group velocity, however, varies.

Group velocity can be any speed from stationary to light speed (with a few physicists suggesting the additional possibility of faster than light). This varies the level of momentum imparted when striking an impenetrable barrier, and thus the force exerted on it.

Hence, it is possible to have a bottle full of electromagnetic waves exerting more force on one end than the other, whereas this is not possible for anything else that an engineer would normally be expected to encounter.

In the case of the prototype unit, the closed resonating cavity is wider at one end than the other.

Mathematical analysis shows that group velocity is higher at the wide end than the narrow end and, as a consequence, there is a net force exerted on the wider end.

Furthermore, the net force exerted is proportional to Q (Q being the effectiveness that the cavity shows as a resonator). Most academics have blanched at the very idea of getting involved in such a controversial idea. One, however, Dr Richard Paris, a reader in mathematics at the University of Abertay in Dundee, has endorsed the calculations. While the theoretical analyses may still be wrong, there is no denying that the prototype device appears to behave as predicted.

A curiosity of the constructed prototype is that when switched on, it takes some seconds to build up to full thrust.

At first Shawyer suspected that the apparent thrust might be due to some buoyancy effect arising from heat generated within the EMC enclosure. Careful modelling and analysis, however, shows that the effect arises purely from the time constants of the pulsed output of the microwave source and the way these interact with the time constant of the balance system used to measure the forces developed.

The device uses a resonator made of copper, filled with microwaves from a commercial magnetron running at 2.5GHz, delivering 850W at an efficiency of around 70%.

Enclosed in an EMC enclosure for safety reasons, the total weight of the box of apparatus is 15kg.

When the box is placed upon a balance one way up and is switched on, it exerts a downward force of 15kgf + 2gf and, when placed the other way up, it exerts a force of 15kgf - 2gf (the force motor and microwave generator weigh only 9.4kg, the remaining weight is that of the EMC enclosure). A force of 2gf, or about 0.02N, may not sound much, but on a spacecraft, it is dramatic, because it can be constantly applied for hours, days, weeks, months or years.

A three tonne satellite typically carries 1.7 tonnes of propellant.

If it did not need to do this, its weight would be halved, and so would the launching cost of each satellite, currently a minimum of £80 million (Russian launcher).

It would also greatly increase the working life of satellites, since this is presently ended when they run short of propellant, and are no longer able to keep themselves in their correct orbit.

The end result would be the increased economic viability of satellite communication and navigation systems, especially those that presently have marginal economics, tipping the balance between fibre optic ground-based systems and space-based systems.

Wrist-mounted communication systems and PDAs which would never lose signal, unless underground, would be the most immediate result noted by the 'man in the street'. Even on the basis of present satellite launch programmes, projected cost savings of £15.5 billion over the next 10 years earned the idea a DTI SMART Award in August 2001, and they are encouraging the raising of serious money for the next stage in development.

Assuming that the measured effects are as real as they appear to be, and that the theoretical analyses are correct, it is possible to speculate where the technology might go after this. In space, it would reduce the journey time to Mars from nine months to three, rendering feasible the proposed NASA/ESA manned mission to Mars program, presently a pipe dream because of cost.

On the ground, it may be possible to make the engine much more powerful, even powerful enough to provide lift against the force of gravity.

We have been asked not to say how this might be done, but we can reveal that it involves a drastic improvement in the 'Q' factor, which can be made possible using present day technology, but one which would require a fair amount of expenditure to develop. Shawyer insists that such an engine would not be an anti gravity machine, which it may or may not be possible to construct [it is, read about DePalma; and additionally, read the Nick Cook book about zero point and electrogravitics technology], but would certainly behave like one.

One of the curiosities of the idea is that as the size goes down, the working frequency goes up. Hence, it may one day be possible to make very small force motors working on the same principle, but powered by light.

These would be more compatible with very small scale robotics than trying to build very small mechanical actuators.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:14 am Post subject: Re: well, this could be huge... Reply with quote

Is it for real? Electromagnetic energy and how it works is not really well-understood.

Anything to stop depending on oil, at this point, is interesting. --MaryK

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:09 pm Post subject: Re: well, this could be huge... Reply with quote

well, this could help with getting us off fossil fuels [like coal and abiotic fuels like oil] to some extent, but it needs electricity to work. It sure would make space travel faster and simpler tho.

It's so easy to write this off as yet another false hope, but apparently the British government which has funded most of the research and the prototype's construction think it's real.

"The team claims to have undergone seven independent reviews from experts at BAE Systems, EADS Astrium, Siemens and the IEE. The DTI has awarded the company £125,000 to develop a prototype engine as part of a three-year, £250,000 programme."

this bit: " may be possible to make the engine much more powerful, even powerful enough to provide lift against the force of gravity. We have been asked not to say how this might be done, but we can reveal that it involves a drastic improvement in the 'Q' factor, which can be made possible using present day technology..."

Basically they're saying they've invented a UFO engine.

Just keep electricity running to it, and you've got thrust. It's very scale-able too, so it can go from tiny little thrusters providing hundredths of a G accelerations to larger ones able to generate in excess of 1 G acceleration.

This will mean very fast trip times to the moon for instance. This could be as or more significant an advance as going from the steam engine to the internal combustion engine.

Some people suspect we already have such technology and are keeping it secret. In fact that we have an off-planet navy already. There was a British hacker arrested recently who broke into lots of US military computers, doesn't remember much and didn't take notes, claims he was 'too stoned' (or he's being told to forget most of the details if he wants to live). He was specifically looking for UFO related info. One thing he found was a list of what were referred to as "non-terrestrial" officer transfers involving ship names not known to be in the wet-navy. So who knows...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:31 am Post subject: Re: Utopia or Oblivion! Reply with quote

yep. we are playing some high stakes poker here on earth these days, best game in the galaxy at the moment, maybe that's why so many visitors stop in for a look 'round, all kinds of visitors: from outside, inside and unside.

ah well, even if it's oblivion, we'll always get to play again (I think).

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:07 am Post subject: I'll make you a bet, drew: Reply with quote

if this propulsion device works the Biefield-Brown effect is also legitimate, and functions off of a similar principle -- exploiting differences in phase velocity between two areas of a local em field.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:49 pm Post subject: Biefeld-Brown effect Reply with quote

There may be a similar thing going on in the B-B effect. perhaps the ionic wind between the two electrodes can function as a weak (or low-Q) wave guide for some electromagnetic radiation emitted by the 'big electrode'. I don't think anyone's looked into that, plus it would seem to produce a much weaker thrust than the ionic wind effect.

I'm fairly convinced that B-B effect doesn't work in a vacuum and the "lifter" thrust only comes from the ionic 'wind'
There seems to be some holding onto the idea that there may be more going on in the B-B effect than (just) the ionic wind, but I'm not aware of anyone showing that it DOES work in a vacuum.

hmmm... is near vacuum a good insulator?

cheers :D

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:25 pm Post subject: yeah, I think Brown claimed his stuff worked in a vacuum Reply with quote

but I also have never seen any credible experiments demonstrating the point; the 'lifters' are only vaguely related, and not really operating on the same 'principle' as the B-B stuff -- asymmetric capacitor plates -- but the lifters clearly only work in a vacuum. That JN Audin fellow claims to have made a lifter work in a near vacuum, but I was extremely unimpressed with the experimental setup and his overall rigorousness.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:36 am Post subject: Re: yeah, I think Brown claimed his stuff worked in a vacuum Reply with quote

"but the lifters clearly only work in a vacuum"
I've seen video of lifters working in people's backyards, for sure they work in air. We may be talking about two different things tho... here's the site...

Oddly enough, JL Naudin died in 2001, sortly after his lifter videos gained wide-spread attention on the net. Anyway, it says he's dead. Kinda like Eugene Mallove who was murdered in 2004. The coincidence theorists can have a field day with this I supose, but maybe... maybe "distruptive technologies" is still a dangerous business. (disruptive of the status quo that is).

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:41 am Post subject: whoa Reply with quote
that was my mistake -- I meant to say the lifters only work when NOT in a vacuum. I had no clue Naudin died.