nasa-impossible-engineShort Bytes: The UK Intellectual Property Office has granted a new patent to Roger Shawyer, the inventor of the EM Drive which is a microwave radiation thruster capable of propelling a spacecraft without the need of fuel propellant. The new patent enhances the efficiency and thrust of the EM drive by minimizing the internal doppler shift.

While Elon Musk and SpaceX have been busy posting mac diamonds on social media, there is a man working hard to revolutionize our space travels in the future. It is possible that Musk may end up sending humans to mars by the next decade but if the British scientist Roger Shawyer’s creation reaches reality, our Mars trip would be way cheaper or at least won’t be fuel dependent. Because even a single gram of fuel won’t be used in the EM drive invented by Shawyer.

The EM drive or microwave radiation thruster has been in question for not adhering to the basic laws of physics given by Sir Isaac Newton. Notably, the third, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The EM drive works by making the electromagnetic waves reflect back and forth in a closed frustum-shaped cavity structure theoretically generating enough thrust to propel an entire spacecraft.

The advocates of physics have said that the em drive doesn’t have fuel which means it doesn’t have anything to push backward in order to move forward. But tests conducted by NASA and other scientists have indicated that the EM drive can work.

Shawyer has been working on the EM drive since 1999. He has bagged four patents in the field of work, the first one in 1993 for the basic concept of a cylindrical thruster with a shaped internal dielectric. Now, the UK Intellectual Property Office has granted him a new patent for the microwave radiation thruster. It is an improved design having a non-superconducting specially shaped plate on one end and a superconducting flat plate on the other.

The microwave radiation thruster houses a circularly polarized input antenna and a detector antenna with polarization opposite to the input antenna. A phase locked loop is created between the two antennas and is used to put a check on the input frequency of the waves.

This process minimizes the internal Doppler shift (the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave for an observer moving relative to its source) for the electromagnetic waves and increases the thrust ring acceleration.

emdrive-patent-diagram
Image: Roger Shawyer/IPO

“There’s millions of pounds at stake on this particular patent,” Shawyer told IB Times. He has been working with an unnamed UK aerospace company to create the second generation of the EM drive.

Just like the Robert Shawyer’s electromagnetic thruster, Guido Fetta created the Cannae drive based on the EM drive concept. The development of the Cannae drive has been promoted by his company Cannae LLC. Recently, Fetta has also managed to get his thruster tested in the space.

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Aditya Tiwari
Aditya likes to cover topics related to Microsoft, Windows 10, and interesting gadgets. But when he is not working, you can find him binge-watching random videos on YouTube (after he has wasted an hour on Netflix trying to find a good show).Reach out at [email protected]