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[–] The_Cat 0 points 35 points (+35|-0) ago 

Reading the paper, they still have a lot of trouble distinguishing a genuine thrust signal from a thermal expansion signal. I'm still betting on this thing not working and the signal being a measurement error.

That said, I am genuinely impressed with the work described in the paper, this is good experimental science and a lot of hard work.


[–] kalgon 0 points 15 points (+15|-0) ago 

Clearly no

III. Conclusions


Although this test campaign was not focused on optimizing performance and was more an exercise in existence proof, it is still useful to put the observed thrust-to-power figure of 1.2  mN/kW in context. The current state-of–the-art thrust to power for a Hall thruster is on the order of 60  mN/kW. This is an order of magnitude higher than the test article evaluated during the course of this vacuum campaign; however, for missions with very large delta-v requirements, having a propellant consumption rate of zero could offset the higher power requirements. The 1.2  mN/kW performance parameter is over two orders of magnitude higher than other forms of “zero-propellant” propulsion, such as light sails, laser propulsion, and photon rockets having thrust-to-power levels in the 3.33–6.67  μN/kW (or 0.0033–0.0067  mN/kW) range.

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[–] BaldMiscreant 2 points 13 points (+15|-2) ago 

There's only one way to prove this thing works... get Musk to send one up.


[–] The_Cat 0 points 12 points (+12|-0) ago 

The thrust is so ridiculously low that there's no way to know if it's working or not. And even if it produces thrust, chances are it's just going to be one of the many sources of measurement error, and not any "real" effect they're trying to prove the existence of.


[–] Ban_Circumcision 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago 

LOL. He cant even deliver on production , itll never get done


[–] tippyc 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I saw one really interesting analysis that talked about the supposed thrust to power ratio of this device. Remember for a second that photons have momentum, and a spotlight actually produces a tiny amount of thrust. Well, when you compare the thrust to power, the spotlight would supposedly produce more thrust per watt of input power than the em drive.