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EmDrive: Chinese space agency to put controversial tech onto satellites 'as soon as possible'

cirr

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EmDrive: Chinese space agency to put controversial tech onto satellites 'as soon as possible'

Chinese government confirms it has been funding EmDrive research since 2010 and believes in its benefits.


By Mary-Ann Russon

December 13, 2016 17:24 GMT

Updated 10 hr ago


China's space agency has officially announced that it believes in the promise of EmDrive and that it has been funding research into the topic for the last five years Reuters

China's space agency has officially confirmed that it has been funding research into the controversial space propulsion technology EmDrive, and that it plans to add the technology to Chinese satellites imminently.

The China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of the Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and the manufacturer of the Dong Fang Hong satellites, has held a press conference in Beijing explaining the importance of the EmDrive research and summarising what China is doing to move the technology forward.

According to Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China's Ministry of Science and Technology, China has been carrying out "key technology research" for the last five years into the EmDrive in order to find possible "engineering applications".

Arabian Nights, or a major breakthrough?

The article, entitled "Electromagnetic drive: Arabian Nights or a major breakthrough", traces the history of the EmDrive controversy and highlights the recent publication of the Nasa Eagleworks EmDrive paper in the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power in November.

The article also mentions that Roger Shawyer's theories about the EmDrive were not taken seriously until Professor Yang Juan of Northwestern Polytechnical University (NWPU) in Xi'an, China began researching the topic in 2008.

"National research institutions in recent years have carried out a series of long-term, repeated tests on the EmDrive. NASA's published test results can be said to re-confirm the technology," Dr Chen Yue, head of the communication satellite division at the China Academy of Space Technology (Cast) said at the press conference.

"We have successfully developed several specifications of multiple prototype principles. The establishment of an experimental verification platform to complete the milli-level micro thrust measurement test, as well as several years of repeated experiments and investigations into corresponding interference factors, confirm that in this type of thruster, thrust exists."

China confirms it is already testing out an EmDrive in orbit :enjoy:

Chen confirmed that Cast has developed a test device of the EmDrive and that tests to verify that the device can actually fly are already being carried out in low-Earth orbit. This ties in with information sources in the international space industry gave IBTimes UK under condition of anonymity that China already has an EmDrive on its orbital space laboratory Tiangong-2.

The press conference also featured a presentation by Li Feng, the chief designer of Cast's communication satellite division, who gave a detailed explanation of the various engineering problems affecting the EmDrive that need to be solved in order to make the technology viable for space applications.

Li explained that Cast's prototype of the EmDrive currently only generates mere millinewtons of thrust, and they will need to get these levels up to between 100 millinewtons to 1 newton in order to get orbit and attitude control – to prevent satellite from tumbling in orbit – to work if the thruster is placed on a satellite.

To do this, the cavity design will need to be improved, in order to reduce electrical loss from the material that the cavity is made of. There are also other problems relating to where exactly the microwave thruster is placed on the satellite, because its positioning can affect the temperature of the thruster cavity and thus how much thrust is produced.

Li said Cast was taking its expertise in designing satellites to make sure the EmDrive worked properly, the way other microwave equipment built for satellites does. To that end, the communication satellite division is currently researching how to improve the structure of the satellite; how to control temperatures on the satellite and even how power is distributed and converted into microwave input energy.

"This technology is currently in the latter stages of the proof-of-principle phase, with the goal of making the technology available in satellite engineering as quickly as possible," said Li Feng. "Although it is difficult to do this, we have the confidence that we will succeed."

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/emdrive-ch...al-tech-onto-satellites-soon-possible-1596328
 

cirr

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Go go go, ours is a long journey to the very end of the universe. :D:enjoy:

EmDrive: These are the problems China must fix to make microwave thrusters work on satellites

China's space agency might stand by EmDrive, but there are still a myriad of engineering problems to solve.


By Mary-Ann Russon

December 14, 2016 16:14 GMT

Updated 10 hr ago


China says it believes in the EmDrive, but there are still many problems to solve before it will work in a satellite (iStock)

On 10 December, China's space agency finally broke its silence about the controversial space propulsion technology EmDrive, holding a press conference in Beijing where it confirmed that China has been funding research into propellantless microwave thrusters for the last five years.

Dr Chen Yue, head of the state-owned China Academy of Space Technology (Cast)'s communication satellite division, confirmed that it has been receiving government funds to research the EmDrive for possible engineering applications and, indeed, the agency presented a paper on its research at the 64th International Astronautical Congress in 2013.

During the press conference, Li Feng, the chief designer of Cast's communication satellite division, gave a detailed presentation about where the agency is now with its prototype of the EmDrive, which is currently being tested in orbit.

He also summed up the many technical problems that still need to be solved before the EmDrive can be eventually successfully commercially realised and solely used on satellites to keep them in orbit.

EmDrive inventor Roger Shawyer, who was a senior engineer working in the UK space and defence industry for over 20 years, knows a great deal about satellites, so IBTimes UK asked him to elaborate on the problems highlighted by Li at the press conference and how to solve them.

Problem One: Getting enough thrust

It's all very well to say that you have a truncated cone-shaped closed metal cavity that produces thrust, but the reality is that, no one, in any experiment in the world, is yet achieving a level of thrust that is high enough to launch a rocket or satellite into space.

To get the EmDrive away from being merely a proof of concept, the scientists will need to work out how to increase the q factor in the cavity to improve the thrust, and the only way to do this is to reduce the electrical loss from the material that the cavity is made of.

Li mentioned that Cast's prototype of the EmDrive currently only generates mere millinewtons of thrust, and they will need to get these levels up to between 100 millinewtons to 1 newton, because that is what is needed for orbit and attitude control.


The EmDrive needs to produce more thrust so it can be used to provide orbit and attitude control of the satellite to point it in the right direction (iStock)

Attitude control is the way in which you control a satellite and point it in the right direction so that it stays in the same spot and broadcasts a clear signal to Earth. If you lose control of the satellite and it starts to tumble in orbit, then this means that the satellite is doing the equivalent of a continuous cartwheel in space, which means it won't work properly.

The flight thrusters so far developed by Shawyer's company Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd have so far achieved 300 millinewtons per kilowatt of input microwave power, and Shawyer claims to be developing a second generation version of the EmDrive that will generate thrust many orders of magnitude higher than today.

Problem Two: Mitigating temperature changes


When the satellite is in the shadow of the Earth, its temperature is affected, which will affect how well the EmDrive can work (iStock)

Even if the EmDrive is able to generate enough thrust when tested on Earth, it will likely encounter stability problems once in space. In low-Earth orbit, as the Earth turns, the satellite goes into eclipse when it is in the shadow of the Earth, which causes significant temperature changes across the satellite.

Microwave equipment is regularly used on communications satellites and the equipment has to be qualified to work in a large range, for example -40 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius.

"The frequency of the microwave input energy has to be controlled to cope with the temperature changes. Temperature changes mean the cavity dimensions change very slightly," explained Shawyer. "Trying to get a piece of equipment to work in space is much more difficult than getting it to work in a lab. In orbit, you have this difficult environment to work in and you can't fix things. there's a big step between a lab experiment and a piece of equipment."

Problem Three: Satellite structure


Where you put the EmDrive on a satellite is key, because it changes whether it controls the orbit or attitude of the satellite (iStock)

Where the microwave thruster is placed on the satellite is also critical – if you want to lower or raise the orbit of the satellite, then the EmDrive will need to be placed so it provides thrust through the centre of gravity of the satellite.

But if you want to use the device for attitude control, then you will need to place it so it is off-centre from the centre of mass of the satellite, so that the satellite can be turned on its own axis. Plus, some parts of the satellite make it easier for you to control changes in temperature, so that's yet another headache.

Problem Four: Power conversion


Understanding how to get the power to work on the satellite even with differing sunlight levels will be crucial to get the EmDrive to work in space (iStock)

On a solar-powered satellite, sunlight captured from solar cells is converted into DC power, which is then distributed around the satellite to power all its onboard equipment, including the EmDrive, which converts electricity into microwave photons that push against the large end of the cone, causing the small end to accelerate in the opposite direction.

To get a microwave thruster-powered satellite to work, engineers will need to make sure that even as sunlight levels change, enough power is gathered and the right voltage is sent to each piece of equipment, including the EmDrive.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/emdrive-th...e-microwave-thrusters-work-satellites-1596487
 

FairAndUnbiased

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I'm not sure that the EM drive is even possible in principle. I say this from a purely scientific point of view as someone who has a degree in applied physics. The EM drive seems to violate conservation of momentum if the cavity is sealed and if the cavity is not sealed then it is simply light pressure, which is billions of times stronger from the sun than from any conventionally powered source.

Professor Yang Juan has also retracted her earlier findings this year after a measurement error was identified in her previous experiment.
 

Bussard Ramjet

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I'm not sure that the EM drive is even possible in principle. I say this from a purely scientific point of view as someone who has a degree in applied physics. The EM drive seems to violate conservation of momentum if the cavity is sealed and if the cavity is not sealed then it is simply light pressure, which is billions of times stronger from the sun than from any conventionally powered source.

Professor Yang Juan has also retracted her earlier findings this year after a measurement error was identified in her previous experiment.

Yeah, from a scientific viewpoint, have had it hard accepting EM Drive.

I have enough faith in momentum conservation laws to seriously doubt EM Drive.
 

cirr

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There will be a national conference next week on the recent developments and progresses of electric propulsion in China. Rumours have it that the EM Drive team might use the opportunity to release data gained from the latest in-orbit experiments. We shall see.

Hoping they make the results, at least the nonsensitive bit, available to the general public.:undecided: :D

Chen confirmed that Cast has developed a test device of the EmDrive and that tests to verify that the device can actually fly are already being carried out in low-Earth orbit. This ties in with information sources in the international space industry gave IBTimes UK under condition of anonymity that China already has an EmDrive on its orbital space laboratory Tiangong-2.

Not sure about the validity of the 2nd half of this paragraph, but an EmDrive prototype is onboard the recently launched SJ-17 scientific experimental satellite.
 

AndrewJin

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There will be a national conference next week on the recent developments and progresses of electric propulsion in China. Rumours have it that the EM Drive team might use the opportunity to release data gained from the latest in-orbit experiments. We shall see.

Hoping they make the results, at least the nonsensitive bit, available to the general public.:undecided: :D

Chen confirmed that Cast has developed a test device of the EmDrive and that tests to verify that the device can actually fly are already being carried out in low-Earth orbit. This ties in with information sources in the international space industry gave IBTimes UK under condition of anonymity that China already has an EmDrive on its orbital space laboratory Tiangong-2.

Not sure about the validity of the 2nd half of this paragraph, but an EmDrive prototype is onboard the recently launched SJ-17 scientific experimental satellite.
:enjoy:
 

cirr

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The following is one of the three electric propulsion systems onboard the SJ-17 satellite for in-orbit tests :-)

China develops non-toxic propellant for orbiting satellites

by Staff Writers

Beijing (XNA) Dec 09, 2016
Shijian-17 is tasked with verifying technology for observation of space debris, new electric sources and electric propulsion.


A non-toxic propulsion system developed by Chinese scientists will enable satellites to carry more payload and save on satellite launching costs, the system's developer said Tuesday.

The ammonium dinitramide (ADN) technology used in the system proved successful when it was tested in the Shijian-17 satellite sent into space last month, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said in a statement.

Shijian-17 is tasked with verifying technology for observation of space debris, new electric sources and electric propulsion.

According to scientists, the propulsion system is meant to help an orbiting satellite sustain its altitude as atmospheric drag and gravity can lead to gradual descent in orbit.

It will also make China the second country after Sweden to master a non-toxic propulsion technology in orbit, it said.

The technology will help avoid human injuries and adverse effects to equipment caused by propellant emission or leakage, according to the document.

As most propellants currently used are toxic, countries are racing to develop more environmentally friendly and non-toxic propellants, it added.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/C...c_propellant_for_orbiting_satellites_999.html
 

ChineseTiger1986

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The whole world got excited last month when NASA published the first peer-reviewed paper on the 'impossible' electromagnetic, or EM, Drive, which appears to somehow defy physics by producing thrust without a propellant.

Their verdict was that it seems to work, although a lot of physicists still think the results are flawed. But now researchers in China have announced that they've already been testing the controversial drive in low-Earth orbit, and they're looking into using the EM Drive to power their satellites as soon as possible.

Big disclaimer here - all we have to go on right now is a press conference announcement and an article from a government-sponsored Chinese newspaper (and the country doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trustworthy research).

So until we see a peer-reviewed paper, we really can't say for sure whether the researchers are even testing the drive in space, let alone what their results have shown.

But what the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) team is saying also corresponds with information provided to IB Times from an anonymous source. According to their informant, China already has an EM Drive on board its version of the International Space Station, the space laboratory Tiangong-2.

We do know from previous papers that Chinese researchers have at least constructed an EM Drive and have been studying it for more than five years now. But there are no published results that we've been able to find that show how positive the results have been.

At the press conference, CAST claim they'd seen the EM Drive producing similar thrust to the NASA team's version.

"National research institutions in recent years have carried out a series of long-term, repeated tests on the EM Drive. NASA's published test results can be said to re-confirm the technology," Chen Yue, head of the communication satellite division at CAST said at this week's press conference, as IB Times reports.

"We have successfully developed several specifications of multiple prototype principles. The establishment of an experimental verification platform to complete the milli-level micro thrust measurement test, as well as several years of repeated experiments and investigations into corresponding interference factors, confirm that in this type of thruster, thrust exists."

Chen also said that CAST had started testing if the EM Drive could actually work in space - something that would be a huge step forward for the controversial propulsion system if it actually works.

In case you've somehow missed it, the EM Drive is a propulsion system that can hypothetically produce thrust just by bouncing microwaves back and forth within its cavity.

That means no heavy propellants (such as rocket fuel) need to be carried on board, and its inventor, Roger Shawyer, predicts that the drive could make it to Mars in just 72 days.

That's all well and good in theory, but the problem is that modern physics can't explain how the EM Drive could work.

According to Newton's third law, everything must have an equal and opposite reaction, so for the EM Drive to produce thrust, it should propel something out the other way. But it doesn't.

Still, several teams around the world have built their own versions of the device and shown that it does seem to produce thrust.

And finally last month NASA published a peer-reviewed paper saying the same thing - after eliminating as many sources of error as they could, they showed the EM Drive still produced small amounts of thrust. They just have no idea how or why.

Needless to say, one paper showing small amounts of thrust produced by a mechanism we don't yet understand isn't enough to say that the EM Drive works - and many notable physicists have vehemently stated that the thrust we're seeing in tests is likely nothing more than an error, or the result of another force we haven't yet accounted for.

So, really, until we test this thing in space, we're not closer to knowing whether or not it works. But the results so far are intriguing enough that physicists are currently planning to do just that.

But if the Chinese team is to be believed - and can produce some solid evidence to back its claims up - they might have already beaten the world to it.

In their press conference, the team also highlighted the many shortcomings of the device and challenges that still need to be overcome.

Chief designer of the CAST communication satellite division, Li Feng, told the media that so far their EM Drive only produces millinewtons of thrust (similar to NASA's version) and to make it functional, they need to get those levels up to between 100 millinewtons and 1 newton.

The team is allegedly now working on the cavity design of the EM Drive and the position of the thruster, before testing their new versions on their satellites in orbit.

If these tests are really happening, it would be great to see some of the results come out in a peer-reviewed paper soon. Until then, we're just going to have to be extra skeptical, and assume nothing until we have some solid evidence.

But it seems that whether we believe them or not, the Chinese team is forging ahead with their EM Drive plans. And we sort of hope they prove us wrong and really do have this thing being tested in space, because it doesn't matter who wins the space race if the result is revolutionising space travel.

"This technology is currently in the latter stages of the proof-of-principle phase, with the goal of making the technology available in satellite engineering as quickly as possible," Li Feng explained at the press conference.

"Although it is difficult to do this, we have the confidence that we will succeed."

http://www.sciencealert.com/china-is-claiming-it-s-already-started-testing-an-em-drive-in-space
 

C130

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EM drive is a joke.

can't believe China actually bought into it :rofl:

 

anon45

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Big disclaimer here - all we have to go on right now is a press conference announcement and an article from a government-sponsored Chinese newspaper (and the country doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trustworthy research).

So until we see a peer-reviewed paper, we really can't say for sure whether the researchers are even testing the drive in space, let alone what their results have shown.

http://www.sciencealert.com/china-is-claiming-it-s-already-started-testing-an-em-drive-in-space
Pretty big Caveat there.

Peer review or it didn't happen.
Pretty much my feelings.
 

Quibbler

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did you watch the video :coffee:
Most people with a technical background will agree that EM drive is probably bust. But they will also agree that it is an idea worth an attempt since it has passed a lot of barriers it shouldn't have (not to mention the implications of such a technology are mind boggling). I believe even NASA is considering a greater prototype.
 

AZADPAKISTAN2009

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Solar Pannel + Next Generation Batteries can power any Space craft within the limits of our own solar system
very successfully till the mars mission, power used for Adjustments in space

Secondary Source could be Giant Solar wind Sail which can be erected to provided sustained thrust

Third source could be a Miniture Nuclear power plant module , Only turned on in Emergency (If Solar sail is ruptured or it breaks and flies out into space)


Humans have possed Technology to Land on Mars or Moon and build a base Sustainable
outpost for at least last 20 years.

This is the frist time I have heard of this drive
 
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C130

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Most people with a technical background will agree that EM drive is probably bust. But they will also agree that it is an idea worth an attempt since it has passed a lot of barriers it shouldn't have (not to mention the implications of such a technology are mind boggling). I believe even NASA is considering a greater prototype.
fact is once you put it in a vacuum any signs of thrust disappear, but let's say it does produce thrust to life 100 tonnes off the ground it would require 1,000 GW of electricity......just think about that.

the thing is a hoax and impracticable.

you would be better off trying to develop an anti matter drive than an EM drive :rofl:

and I don't say this because China is actually attempting this but because thunderf00t is right. I was a supporter of the hyperloop, but now I see that is also an hoax and impracticable.

 

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