Fuel Free Engine 'EmDrive' Gets Upgrade: Could Transport Humans To Mars In 10 Weeks
(Photo : ESA / Handout)
Called the impossible engine, the 'EmDrive', which has been suggested as the mechanism that could one day transport humans to Mars in a mere 10 weeks, has reportedly got an upgrade. The new version of the engine has been recently patented by its inventor, Roger Shawyer.
The EmDrive creates thrust by making microwaves bounce around in an enclosed chamber with only solar power. As per reports, a superconducting plate has been included in the upgraded machine to make its thrust more powerful. The upgraded EmDrive has one flat superconducting plate and one unique non conducting plate on each side of the thruster respectively.
The superconducting plate will lower the chances of internal Doppler shift, which is basically the change in wavelength or frequency of a wave for an observer in relative motion to its source. As a result, not only does the drive become even more powerful but the manufacturing costs can also be kept low due to the flat shape of the plate.
It is interesting to note, that in spite of the details revealed about the EmDrive, no one (apart from the researchers that is) actually knows how the machine works. Incidentally, the concept of EmDrive was first put forward by Shawyer in 2000. Since then, at least four independent laboratories, including the one at NASA, have remade the drive. However, the engine has always been considered somewhat of a mystery and puzzled scientists due to its apparent violation of a law - the conservation of momentum, according to which there has to be an equal and opposite reaction for every action. The law implies that the thruster can only accelerate forward if a force of same magnitude is sent to its other direction, the exhaust of the engine.
As per reports, the secrets of the thruster may finally be unveiled this year as NASA has been keenly studying the concept behind the engine, and may publish findings based on its observations by December. "It is my understanding that Eaglework's new paper has been today accepted for publication in a peer-review journal, where it will be published,' claimed a user on the Nasa Spaceflight forum.