The Electrodynamic Space Thruster is a propulsion system designed by Moacir L. Ferreira Jr. in order to produce propulsive force in the outer space, using a sequenced pattern of phase-shifted electric oscillations, similarly to a linear AC motor, running much faster, creating sideway electrodynamic drag, consequently, producing an astonishing acceleration without infringing the classical laws of physics (action-reaction, action-at-a-distance).
|6.||Operation and Calculation|
Propulsion in space occurs generally by expelling reaction mass, in accordance with Newton's third law of motion, commonly paraphrased as: "For every action force there is an equal, but opposite, reaction force" or in other words "action and reaction are always equal and opposite".
Hence, expelling the reaction mass, the system power increases with the square of exhaust velocity, which indicate that most of the energy goes away with the exhausting mass, which can be attested using well-known formulas: m1v1 + m2v2 = 0 with ½m1v1² + ½m2v2² = E, and also by Tsiolkovsky rocket equation: Δv=ve×ln(mi/mf)
Apparently, it is virtually impossible to violate Newton's third law for reducing the energy going away with the propellants, although there are some researches being carried out by universities and space agencies around the world. There are hypothetical space drives such as the bias drive, diametric drive, negative mass propulsion, photon rocket, disjunction drive, quantum vacuum energy, and reactionless drive . Also, there are practical devices in development such as Mach Effect Propulsion , GRASP - Gravity Research for Advanced Space Propulsion, Asymmetrical Capacitors , Lifters (Biefeld–Brown effect), Emdrive , and others already patented (US patent: 3130945, 2949550, 6492784, 6317310, 6098924, 6193194, 5546743, 5142861, and 6745980).
Most of the concepts such as Inertial Propulsion Engine, also known as the reactionless drive or inertia drive, which uses motion of internal masses to create a net thrust, are considered incorrect due to infringement of classical physics laws, and by not demonstrating results. Other concepts have exhibited only few milli Newtons of thrust force presenting almost no practical application.  
Propagation of electromagnetic waves in the outer space has a lot of theories without a definitive or conclusive explanation. This disclosure use one more practical that is based on waveguide interspace, a wave needs a means to propagate, in a waveguide, such means is the resulting electric field inside the waveguide interspace, which is in a particular electrostatic equilibrium, thus oscillations on electron orbit in the waveguide walls, transfer energy propagating the wave by perturbing such means, this can be applicable to optical fiber, metallic and dielectric waveguides. As it is widely supposed, electromagnetic wave propagates in the outer space in TEM mode (Transverse ElectroMagnetic), while inside waveguide, propagates in either TE mode (Transverse Electric), TM mode (Transverse Magnetic), or in hybrid modes. Accepting the waveguide is in a particular electrostatic equilibrium, electromagnetic waves change this equilibrium, hence, theoretically, space can be thought as it is in electrostatic equilibrium and electromagnetic waves propagates in it by disturbing it, and if a physical body can travel inside a waveguide in this way, thereby it could hypothetically do this in the outer space supported by all matter in the nearby sideling universe, asteroids, planets, gases, cosmic dust, stars, galaxies, and other celestial bodies, independently of the interspace distance. Finally, it will be possible the physical body to travel in the outer space without infringement of the laws of classical physics, traveling in the outer space, as it were, an interspace.
Transverse waves having a high frequency may exhibit wave-particle duality, exhibiting properties of both waves and particles, as particles they have no mass, but may have insignificant momentum proportional to their frequency. Here, hypothetically, as a particular premise, spectrums below THz can be considered only as waves.
Also, as it is well-known, magnetic fields are generated by variation on electric fields and vice-versa; hence, for simplification, sometimes electromagnetic waves can simply be referred as electric waves, to analyze it only from the electric field point of view to facilitate a preliminary comprehension of transverse waves.
It is known that electrons attract both positive and neutral particles. In a simplified theory, an electron traveling inside a waveguide can change continuously the electrostatic equilibrium, causing a kind of electrodynamic drag, slowing down the electron velocity, and also, hypothetically, causing a sort of traveling electrodynamic wave at sideways, and when the electron collides, theoretically, its perceptible mass increase could as well be assigned to the traveling electrodynamic wave dragging the electron. Hypothetically, electrodynamic wave needs a nearby universe, waveguide walls, for propagating, then the perceptible electromagnetic wave can be the "effect" and the electrodynamic wave propagating sidelong could be the "cause". If EM fields interact with the matter, hence, hypothetically, sideway electrodynamic drag and sideway electrodynamic wave could be in control of the inertia of neutral bodies; instantaneous transverse electric force interactions, reciprocal action and reaction, interconnecting all matter across the universe, still neither proven nor unproven.
Considering a hypothetical impulse drive, working by accelerating and decelerating electrons, electromagnetic waves are produced similarly to a dipole antenna. Cyclically and continuously accelerating an electron beam current (I) to more than 256keV, decelerating, and retaking them, a linear and continuous thrust force could be generated; the voltage of acceleration (V1) should be much higher than 256kV to try to produce more thrust than electromagnetic radiation. Having the voltage of retaking (V2), the electric power would be P=(V1-V2)×I, but no warranty of a net thrust force will be effectively generated in this way. However, having an array of three or more impulse drives, acting as dipole antennas, spaced-apart along a length (L), each impulse drive fed with phase-shifted pulses, having the frequency (f) of said pulses greater than or equal to ratio of the speed of electromagnetic waves (c) in free space to length of the array (f ≥ c/L), with the array acting as a linear motor, there will be a higher probability of an effective net thrust be produced. The net thrust force is expected to be produced because the speed of electrodynamic waves is limited staying below of the speed of the sequenced pattern produced by the phase-shifted oscillations. In either transverse electric mode or transverse magnetic mode, the phase-shifted oscillations sequentially produce a transverse force, generating a sequenced pattern, which can produce a longitudinal force in the nearby universe, thereby creating a strong electrodynamic drag for sustaining the motion, providing an enormous chance of creating a net thrust force in the outer space.
These brief theories and premises are provided here only for simplification of understanding regarding this disclosure and do not encompass all possible nuances regarding the electrodynamic behavior. Many theories and variations exist for explaining transverse wave propagation in the outer space, and a full discussion of this is subject well beyond the scope of this disclosure. Theory with a more practical sense, such as the waveguide-space theory, is the preferred in order to propose a workable device.
The object of the present invention is to provide a workable method and apparatus to create a linear thrust force in free space, without transgressing the classical physics laws, using an array of spaced-apart phase-shifted electric oscillations in order to produce an interpolation to modulate a sequenced virtual electric wave pattern a little faster than a normal electrodynamic wave in free space, which is mathematically verifiable by following equation: (f ≥ c/L), where f is frequency, c is the speed of electromagnetic wave in vacuum, and L is the array length. Considering the arrangement floating inside a waveguide interspace, it will produce an action similar to which is produced by a linear motor, acting as an "electrodynamic caterpillar", running much faster than an electrodynamic wave inside the waveguide, which produces a reaction force due to electrodynamic drag, hence, the linear net thrust force will be generated by mutual forces of action and reaction. For a low thrust, an array of conventional antenna can be used; to produce a higher thrust power, a "transverse impulse drive" using electron beam collectors , similar to a TWT/Klystron, for producing powerful electric oscillations by cyclically accelerating, decelerating and recovering electrons.
In this section will be described practical embodiments of this invention, and in the next section, their operation will be further detailed.
An embodiment for producing and radiating electric oscillations, constituting an impulse drive, is shown in FIG. 1, comprised by an electron source 79, preferably having a control grid, a wire 40 for controlling electron beam current, an insulating casing 96, a high voltage power supply 75, a set of electron beam collectors 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92 and 94, and their respective insulators 83, 85, 87, 89, 91 and 93. The power supply 75 having a plurality of positive terminals, each terminal connected to each electron beam collector. The power supply negative terminal is connected via wire 59 to the electron source. A main support 99, a top support 97, and bottom support 98, is to sustain the assembly.
A cross-section taken of a FIG. 1, is shown in FIG. 2, to clarify the assembly of the electron source 79, and the set of electron beam collectors 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92 and 94, and their respective insulators 83, 85, 87, 89, 91 and 93, coaxially disposed along the longitudinal axis of the assembly.
Electron beam collectors and multistage depressed collectors are well-known technologies (US patent: 3925701, 3993925, 6909235 and 3662212) used in the traveling-wave tube (TWT) which is an electronic device used to amplify radio frequency signals to high power. The purpose of the collectors is for recapturing the spent electron beam recovering most of the energy remaining in the beam.
Higher powered TWT usually contain beryllium oxide ceramic as an electron collector because of its special electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. There are many variations, configurations, dimensioning, materials, thermal overload compensation, regarding electron beam collector technology. Hence, given a required electric power, the beam collector technology can be freely dimensioned and adjusted to being used within the (FIG. 1 and FIG. 2) embodiment. Optionally, the insulating casing 96 can be comprised of a toroid-shaped cavity resonator, similar to Klystron, a microwave technology, to maximize the power radiating efficiency, and the electron source 79 can optionally be comprised of Lanthanum hexaboride, Cerium hexaboride, or Field Emitter Array Cathode (FEAC), instead of a conventional using tungsten wire.
A preferred embodiment for creating a linear thrust force is shown in FIG. 3, comprised by an array of twelve impulse drives (FIG. 1), six at left 97, 23, 27, 29, 31, 33, and six at right 54, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, preferably disposed inline, symmetrically and equally spaced-apart, laying on support 95.
A fusion-powered spacecraft (weight: 500000kg, height: 30m, diameter: 15m) using the preferred embodiment of FIG. 3 as thruster is shown in FIG. 7, wherein three thruster represented by supports 95, 25 and 35, are equally spaced at an angle of 120° to sustain the base 39 which sustain a hull 55, preferably made of an aluminum alloy of at least 10 cm of thickness to protect against outer space radiation. The energy source can be supplied the CrossFire Fusion Reactor (PCT/IB2008/054254), comprised by six superconducting magnets 9 sustaining each other at arc-shaped injector belt 12, six core insulator 10 isolating the magnets to armature 20, three supports 58 equally spaced at an angle of 120° for withstanding the assembly, a battery bank 42, steam turbine 43, condenser 51, coolant pipe 21, acceleration power supply 46, and electrical transformer 36, further illustrating an array of ion bean collectors 76 and their respective insulators 77, a cover 78 for outputting fusion byproducts. The array of ions collectors are positioned at the six outputs for decelerating, recombining, and, with a multistage electric configuration, converting the kinetic energy from fusion charged byproducts into electric energy to power the thrusters. Unburned byproducts can be recycled for refueling the fusion reactor.
Phased array antennas are well-known technologies (US patent: 3680109, 5623270 and 6611230), this disclosure diverge a little from phased array technology regarding purpose and dipoles arrangement. This disclosure disposes dipoles, as transverse impulse drives, for creating thrust, while the phased array technology the dipoles are disposed in accordance with transmission of radio waves.
A block diagram for generating phased electric oscillations is shown in FIG. 8, comprised by, from left to right, an oscillator, an amplifier, and an array of six time-delay phase shifter. From top to bottom, each time-delay phase shifter translate phase angle respectively into 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, and 300°. This block diagram is a basic schematic, there are other well-known technologies regarding multi-phase oscillator and phased array antennas that can be applied instead. Also, the amplifier can be a TWT, Klystron, or a Magnetron for producing multi-megawatt of power.
A basic or alternative embodiment, in transverse electric mode, is shown in FIG. 4, illustrating a sequence, first dipole 41 and last dipole antenna 44, forming an array of twelve dipole antenna, preferably inline and equally spaced-apart, laying on support 56. Another variation of the alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 5, comprised by an array of twelve folded dipole antenna, first antenna 71, last antenna 72, laying on support 57.
Still another variation of the alternative embodiment, in transverse magnetic mode, is shown in FIG. 6, comprised by an array of six loop antenna, first antenna 73, last antenna 74, laying on support 70. The array of loop antenna is similar to a linear motor with single-loop coils, and as is widely known, the linear motor is similar to a three-phase rotary electric AC motor having its electromagnets (each electromagnet is a pair of magnetic poles) unwrapped and laid out side by side, to produce a linear thrust force.
A basic operation can be better understood from the FIG. 4 wherein each a pair of poles (dipole antenna) are fed with phase angles 120° apart, respectively each dipole antenna having angles of 0°, 120°, 240°, 0°, 120°, 240°, 0°, 120°, 240°, 0°, 120°, 240°, that is a three-phase system with four pairs of poles per phase. Putting it inside a dielectric or metallic waveguide without touching the walls, it is expected to act similarly to a linear motor. However, to proportionate a detectable thrust force inside the waveguide interspace, the frequency should be greater than or equal to ratio of the speed of electromagnetic waves in free space to length of the array times the number of pairs of poles per phase (f ≥ (c/L) × p), where f is frequency, c is the speed of electric wave in vacuum, L is the array length, and p is the number of pairs of poles per phase (a pair of poles is a dipole).
For example, an array length of 5m: f ≥ (c/L) × p ⇒ f ≥ (299792458/5) × 4 ⇒ f ≥ 240 MHz
Another example still using FIG. 4, is with each dipole antenna having phase angles 30° apart, respectively 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°, 210°, 240°, 270°, 300°, 330°, that is a twelve-phase system with one pair of poles per phase: f ≥ (c/L) × p ⇒ f ≥ (299792458/5) × 1 ⇒ f ≥ 60 MHz
In the outer space, the net thrust force will be produced as a consequence of the speed of electrodynamic waves is limited staying below of the speed of the sequenced pattern produced by the phased electric oscillations. The phased electric oscillations sequentially produce a transverse force, generating the sequenced pattern, consequently, producing a longitudinal force, creating a strong electrodynamic drag for sustaining the motion, producing the net thrust force in the outer space, independently of the interspace distance.
With more number of phases, energy flux (electric power) will be more constant, smoothly and continuously creating the thrust force, and with less number of pairs of poles per phase it requires less frequency. Hence, number of poles can be one, number of phases must be at least three, also the number of dipole antennas must be at least three, and with one pair of poles per phase the equation can be simplified to (f≥(c/L)), constituting a preferred equation.
The array of folded dipole antenna illustrated in FIG. 5, works similarly as already explained in FIG. 4, both in transverse electric mode, differing regarding their impedances, as well it works for other types such as loop antenna, helical antenna, rhombic antenna, beverage antenna and microwave antenna. The array of loop antenna illustrated in FIG. 6 is an example in transverse magnetic mode; it is the closest correlation with a conventional linear AC motor.
When the electrons in a conductor, (antenna wire) are made to oscillate back and forth, electromagnetic waves are produced, these waves radiate outwards from the source at the speed of about 300 million meters per second.
For producing multi-megawatt electric oscillations, there are technologies such as Magnetron, Klystron and Traveling Wave Tube (TWT). Powerful electric oscillations can be created by accelerating, decelerating, and retaking electrons.
The proposed variation of a TWT as the preferred transverse impulse drive (FIG. 1 and FIG. 2), has the electron source 79 for emitting electrons that are accelerated toward the positive potential, much more than 256kV, applied at collector 82, and successively being decelerated by the collectors 84, 86, 88, 90, 92 and 94, until the electrons land softly on collectors going to power supply 75, and again going via wire 59 to the electron source, creating powerful electric oscillations. The wire 40(FIG. 1) is for applying a signal of phase-shifted oscillations to control the electron source 79. This transverse impulse drive can be considered as a pair of poles, although asymmetric in comparison to a dipole antenna.
The operation of the preferred embodiment can be better understood from the FIG. 3 wherein each transverse impulse drive 97, 23, 27, 29, 31, and 33, at left side, can be considered as an array of pairs of asymmetrical poles, having phase angles 60° apart, respectively each one having angles of 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, and 300°, that is a six-phase system with one pair of asymmetrical poles per phase. The transverse impulse drive at right side 54, 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34, are similar to the left side, they are for compensating possible transverse displacement of the assembly due to its dipole asymmetry, for example, each one can be either in-phase 0°, contra-phase 180°, or out of phase 90°, regarding its peer at left side, to compensate rotation, sideway shifting, and vibration.Having a length of 10m, using the simplified equation: f ≥ (c/L) ⇒ f ≥ (299792458/10) ⇒ f ≥ 30 MHz
In this way, the electrodynamic thruster will consume a million times less power to thrust a spacecraft, assuming it with 100% of efficiency without electromagnetic losses. However, in practice, many losses will occur, but even with losses, it is expected to be more efficient than conventional propulsion by expelling reaction mass, that which was to be demonstrated.
Accordingly, many other variations are possible for adapting it to thrust, for example, solar-powered satellites and fusion-powered spacecrafts, at very high performance levels; and also it is relatively inexpensive, system performance is competitive, having a scalability of size and power, easier engineering and maintainability, making an important breakthrough in space travels.