Undefined Technologies, a startup based in Doral, about 15 miles out of Miami, claims that it has managed to increase the thrust levels of ion propulsion systems to “unprecedented levels” with its “Air Tantrum” technology, enabling near-silent drones with no moving parts, that look like flying pallets.

All aircraft propulsion systems provide thrust by moving air or another propellant, and for the vast majority of drones that means some kind of fan or propeller spinning angled blades to push air through and create thrust in the opposite direction. Ionic propulsion, on the other hand, is entirely electromagnetic.

The process uses a high-voltage electric field to ionize the nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the air, liberating electrons to create, primarily, a lot of positively-charged nitrogen molecules. These are drawn toward a negatively-charged electrode, usually in the form of a flat screen grid, and as they accelerate, they bang into other air molecules and bump them in the same direction to create an ionic wind.

The company’s presentation focuses on the benefits of an ionically propelled drone – namely, extremely quiet flight that would be much better for the urban soundscape (and noise pollution regulations) than the annoying buzz and whir of drone propellers. The company says its device flies at less than 7 decibels, softer than the sound of breathing or rustling leaves.

How it does so is, well, undefined. Here’s the entire text of the technology section on the company’s website:

“Since Thomas Townsend Brown discovered propulsion generated by asymmetrical electrodes in 1921 there had not been a significant break-thru which allow generation ion propulsion to levels which made it possible to develop VTOL crafts in atmospheric conditions. The Air Tantrum Technology (Patent Pending) uses innovative physics principles which increase thrust to unprecedented levels.”

Sources: Website; New Atlas

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/11/30/ion-propelled-drones-for-urban-cargo-delivery/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.