Fuel free engines

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Background of technology, including the basic science foundation

This page seeks to describe engines that do not require a continuous addition of *traditional fuel*, i.e. engines that do not combust with oxygen first and foremost. Beyond the easiest example to disqualify, the combustion engine, the term "fuel free" gets trickier to define, as any energy generation technology will be getting the energy from somewhere and therefore that somewhere can always reasonably be technically be considered "fuel" by some.

One interpretation of "fuel free" engines might be plasma and/or noble gas engines. These devices claim primary energy generation from engines that, whilst containing gases which one might call "fuel", do not require an air supply and do not emit exhaust gases"[1]. However, these examples still require energy input, often in the form of electricity, to power components within the device needed (to generate the plasma for example).

The EMDrive is even another example that does not claim to be a primary energy source, as it uses microwaves within to generate thrust, and requires an energy input to create the microwaves. This technology is described below in the Related Technologies Section and is easily argued to be not relevant here because the energy source of the microwaves is still of traditional means and therefore nothing new. However, this technology is still worth discussing, as its ultimate means for generating thrust, through leveraging microwaves, represents a very radical, new, even controversial means as it sometimes is described as being "propellant-less".

"The technology is controversial because of that key word "propellantless". Space drives rely on Newton's laws of motion: all are based on the principle of firing propellant out the back at high speed, pushing the spacecraft forward. Even with endless power from solar cells, thrust is still limited by the supply of propellant, even with high-velocity ion drives. Numerous attempts have been made to overcome this, from the infamous Dean Drive of the 1950's to Nasa's experiments with antigravity from spinning superconductors in the 1990's. All have failed, and the efforts of pseudoscientific cranks and scammers have left the field thoroughly discredited."[2] - (Wired.Co.Uk) EmDrive: China's radical new space drive

Magnet motors, gravity engines and Zero Point Energy (ZPE) technologies to some could be argued as "fuel free" since they are definitely not traditional combusion, but they have their own dedicated pages, which may be the only reason they are not listed here.

Josef Papp / Papp (Noble Gas) Engine

Mostly, the field seems to originate with Hungarian inventor Joseph Papp.[3]

"Josef Papp (1933 – April 1989) was a Hungarian immigrant to the US and held 3 US patents for a controversial engine he claimed ran on a Noble gas mixture. Papp’s engine was displayed running at several occasions, most notably the a demonstration in 1966 that ended with one fatality and 2 severely injured."[4] Based on the description provided in the reference this appears to be a novel way of implementing an electrically powered engine. So it would not represent a source of energy as that is provided by the (input) electricity.

"Papp left behind one of the most tantalizing legacies in the history of free energy: There exists nearly rock-solid evidence now that Papp really had managed to build a robust engine of over 100 horsepower (75 kilowatts) that was "fueled" by a mixture of, we believe, "pre-treated" noble gases. Though it had no exhaust and no cooling system, it had huge torque even at low RPM. Dozens of astonished engineers, scientists, and investors— even a Federal judge with an engineering background was blown away by it— have seen the engine working in closed rooms for hours, which would have killed its occupants with toxic gases had it been a hydrocarbon-fuel engine. There was absolutely no exhaust, no visible provision for any exhaust! The engine ran cool— only about 60°C (140°F) on its surface, it has been reported by several reliable observers. All these people, who had years to try to debunk it, became convinced of the engine's reality. They all failed to discover a hoax."[5] According to the San Jose Mercury news in 1989, "if Joseph Papp doesn't deserve the Nobel Prize for physics, they should create for him a Nobel Prize for legerdemain"[6]

"I interviewed a man that witnessed the Feinman demonstration, Cecil B. (likely Cecil Baumgartner, of TRW aerospace corporation[5]), he is an older guy now but [has] a very clear memory. His recollection of what happened on that occasion and on occasions when they tested Papp's machine on a dynamometer was very clear that one: it works, and two: it is not a heat engine. They made observations of tests running hours or days in a closed room, no exhaust, negligible temperature rise, so it is not a thermodynamic machine."[7]

A series of inventors has tagged on to Papp's legacy[8] among which the Rohner brothers, Jimmy Sabori and Heinz Klostermann, all of whom have filed for patents under their own names (see IP).

Current state of the technology

Required inputs for energy generation

Energy generation requires at least:

  • A critical mixture of noble gases

One fuel mixture known in the art is a combination by volume of the following: 35.6% helium, 26.2% neon, 16.9% argon, 12.7% krypton, 8.5% xenon. Disclosed online by RWG[9].

  • A spark, which could be from an electrical source.

A diverse range of technologies fall under this category. However, the inputs for any energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. [10] The efficiency of the system is represented by the output energy divided by the input energy. Note that all energy inputs should be accounted for, including any internal energy storage within the prototype itself. This internal energy could be in any form, not just electrical energy. So given the diverse range of possibilities, any form of energy input might be relevant, e.g.:

  • Nuclear potential energy
  • Chemical potential energy
  • Gravitational potential (mass at a height)
  • Potential energy associated with the phase of matter (e.g. gas, liquid, solid, and amorphous or crystaline structures)
  • The inverted distribution of electron energy levels (as found in lasers; but typically short-lived)
  • Electrical potential energy
  • Kinetic energy

Organizations/researchers working with this technology

Keshe Foundation

Keshe[11] "has covered all aspects of the design of a new plasma nuclear system from the very beginning to its present stage. This has included the design, the fuel, the testing and practical applications. Since 2002 he has concentrated on completing the full range of his technology for launching into the scientific world and industry. In September 2004 he was invited by a leading western country, through its government office organizations, to present his technology for evaluation. From November 2004 to March 2005 his technology was under consideration by scientists at a university. In March 2005, the report from the university declared that energy production through this new technology is feasible. In April 2005, through government organizations, a commercial development partner was found to study the practicality of developing this system. Agreement was reached between both parties and the development company was satisfied that the system is practical and workable, as was reported in the feasibility study by the university."

"European and international patents for the technology were applied for in early October 2005 for all aspects of possible use of the new technology, covering some hundreds of applications. At the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006 several static plasma reactors were built to confirm the theoretical principles of the technology. These static reactors all work at room temperature and at normal atmospheric pressure, and provide voltage and current. Since the beginning of 2006 several prototypes of dynamic plasma reactors specifically designed to achieve lift and motion have been built and successfully tested."

Keshe seems to have launched commercialization of a home power unit they call Magrav since 2015, and you can order one for 1800US$ on their webshop.[12] "This is the off-grid Magravs-Power Plasma Generator! Magravs-Power Plasma Generators are now on sale as per the 118th Knowledge Seeker Workshop. The system was shown powering multiple appliances with no support from the main power grid of the house...The offered version is CE certified. 2 Years Warranty. Choose your plug type in the drop down menu below. The product is shipped within 90 DAYS from the PAYMENT confirmation." The lack of reliable customer reports would seem to shed some doubts on delivery / performance of the unit.

Analysis and criticism of Keshe from free energy website keelynet.com : "Keshe scam continues"[13], "Working MAGRAV units in Peru ?"[14], "Keshe Magravs not working ?"[15], "Keshe's Colleague and Collaborator Speaks Out - Keshe is a total FRAUD !"[16]. The inventor also has his own anti-fansite, run by "individuals who have been harmed in any way by Mehran Tavakoli Keshe", stating "Contrary to what has been claimed by Mehran Tavakoli Keshe, we do NOT want to stop the Keshe Foundation or its technology, but just make people aware of the deceitful methods and misconducts of Mehran Tavakoli Keshe himself."[17]

The Rohners

There's a myriad of companies and websites set up by the Rohner brothers[18][19][20], who seem to work seperately, including pappengine.com, where photos of their and Papps work still remain.

  • John Rohner: in 2013, The SEC put out a notice to "halt Plasma Engine investment scheme operated by John Rohner and his Nevada companies" and in 2016, an arrest warrant for John, referencing his YouTube videos, was issued.[21]
  • Bob Rohner : it is unclear whether this company RG Energy is still active today[22].

Heinz Klostermann

Another researcher working the legacy of Papp. In 2012, the German-born engineer was living in California and working with inventor Tamerlane Sanchez developing a line of multi-cylinder engines based on the pulsing of plasma generated from plain air. They call their core technology the Pulser.[23][24] It is unclear whether they or the patent assignee company Clean Energy Inc[25], are still active today.

Russ Gries

Inventor Russ Tries runs experiments trying to recreate Papp's engine[26]

La Yaomei

The most recent patent[27] in this area by inventor Jimmy Sabori, is assigned to La Yaomei : a 2010 corporation based in Los Angeles.[28] Little is known about the company or its intentions. One of its directors, Yanyao Chen[29] is named in a desist-and-refrain-order by the California Department of Business Oversight for the unlawful offer and sale of securities in his role at another company.[30]

Reasons why the science and technology has not moved forward

On a trial test run the engine has exploded, killing one bystander. Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman accused Papp of placing explosives in the engine so it would be destroyed before legitimate testing could be done, in order to keep the hoax alive. Since a fatality occurred, the FBI got involved. No evidence of explosives was found. Papp sued Feynman and Feynman and Caltech settled out of court. If it were a hoax, there is no way Caltech would have settled out of court. It was done so Feynman and Caltech could save face[31].

  • Papp was paranoid about theft of his design. – Kept secret significant knowledge of engine physics[32].
  • Cal Tech Prof. Richard Feynmann witnessed a Papp plasma engine demonstration in 1968. – Feynmann Interfered in the demonstration, causing engine to explode, with one death and many injuries. – Feynmann charged that the demo was a hoax, which persists today, and killed investor support[33].
  • Papp’s patent disclosures were incomplete. – Engines built to his patent specs would not perform.
  • Papp died in 1989 without revealing key secrets.

Costs of facilities, production, now and projected future costs with improvements

Intellectual Property surrounding technology

  • (Joseph Papp, 1968) US 3680431 A[34] Method and means for generating explosive forces A method of generating explosive forces involving the triggering and utilization of potential energy of atoms and various forms of radiation and emanation; the provision of environmental means in which the reaction can be initiated by electrical means. The utilization of elements of relatively low atomic number, such as the noble gases, chlorine and other elements and their isotopes whose atoms do not have their outer quantum levels completely satisfied with orbital electrons, in the production of explosive reactions in which fission, spallation, transfer reactions and cascade effects appear to be utilized. The utilization of elements having the property of emitting electrons, alpha gamma and beta radiations, X-ray and ultraviolet emanations for the purpose of triggering the reactions.
  • (Joseph Papp, 1968) US 3670494 A[35] Method and means of converting atomic energy into utilizable kinetic energy Method of utilizing potential energy of atoms and various forms of radiation (electrons, photons, positrons, gamma beta and alpha radiations, etc.) in a controlled power generating system; effective mixtures of chemical elements adapted for use in the method; the preparation of charges of ingredients for use in virtually gas-tight power generating devices; the activation and control of such charges and devices; structural requirements of power generating devices utilizing the methods and compositions.
  • (Joseph Papp, 1984) US 4428193 A[1] Inert gas fuel, fuel preparation apparatus and system for extracting useful work from the fuel An inert gas fuel consisting essentially of a precise, homogeneous mixture of helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon. Apparatus for preparing the fuel includes a mixing chamber, tubing to allow movement of each inert gas into and through the various stages of the apparatus, a plurality of electric coils for producing magnetic fields, an ion gauge, ionizers, cathode ray tubes, filters, a polarizer and a high frequency generator. An engine for extracting useful work from the fuel has at least two closed cylinders for fuel, each cylinder being defined by a head and a piston. A plurality of electrodes extend into each chamber, some containing low level radioactive material. The head has a generally concave depression facing a generally semi-toroidal depression in the surface of the piston. The piston is axially movable with respect to the head from a first position to a second position and back, which linear motion is converted to rotary motion by a crankshaft. The engine's electrical system includes coils and condensers which circle each cylinder, an electric generator, and circuitry for controlling the flow of current within the system.
  • (Dukovic, 1988) US 4831627 A[36] Energy generator An energy generator that converts matter in the form of a gas into an energy source. The generator functions by injecting a gas, such as hydrogen, into a confined chamber. The chamber includes an annular permanent magnet and a rotating magnetic assembly that includes a plurality of magnetic fins that form a funnel shape. The combination of the magnets serves to accelerate and centrifugally confine and cause the gas molecules to collide with one another until they acquire sufficient energy to cause lasing.
  • (Mehran Keshe, 2005) EP 1770715 A1[37] Micro plasma reactor A fixed or handheld micro-plasma-reactor can be build-in, connected with and/or inserted into various electrical/electronic devices (i.e. mobile phones, computers), in various objects (i.e. lighting devices in general, light bulb, microchips, IC's), in various container types (i.e. cooking pan) and all type of machines, i.e. vacuum-cleaner, pumps, electrical car, etc., to generate DC current and/or AC, and consequently the various uses resulting from electrical current, for lighting, for heating/cooling, and desired process (i.e. creation magnetic fields). The self-sustaining plasmatic process gives independent functioning without connections to any electrical power network, solar cells or the need to recharge. New type of products will be created. Different type of micro-reactors are decribed, and new methodes of technology.
  • (Mehran Keshe, 2005) EP 1770717 A1[38] Gravitational and energy system The new method and technology is described to create - under centrifugal and vacuum conditions - in presence of ionization condition - a turbulence, rotation, compressive and heating of a gaseous matter is created in a reactor by at least one central rotative magnetic field with the purpose of creating plasmatic conditions leading to the creation various magnetic fields where at least the interaction of two magnetic field would lead to the creation of at least one gravitational force phenomena. In a reactor-embodiment a chain of energetic events is created via a rotative magnetic initiation of a basic ionization of a gas (i.e. hydrogen) which then triggers a controllable chain of energy transfers (Scintillation) to the next following layer(s) of introduced gasses (i.e. He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe), of all other introduced elements of the periodic table (i.e. Li, Be, K, Ca, Ti, ... Pt, etc.) and/or their introduced molecule combinations (i.e. a vapor). A central colums has magnetic means to start the process. Various concepts, applications and products are disclosed, such as space travel and atomic welding. This results in a completely new type of dynamic energy-source and energy concept which also implies the control over local gravity.
  • (John Rohmer, 2009) US 20110113772 A1[39] Plasmic transition process motor An internal expansion engine having a housing. Secured to the housing is a cylinder defining an expansion chamber. A piston is provided within the cylinder defining a wall of the expansion chamber. A charge of noble gas is provided within the expansion chamber. A magnetic field generator and fadio frequency power generator is provided around the expansion chamber and an initiator system is located within the expansion chamber. The magnetic field generator, radio frequency power generator and initiator system coact to cause the noble gas to expand, pushing against the piston and generating work. The actions of the engine are monitored and controlled by an intelligent electronic control system that provides all switching needed to operate the engine and communicate with outside elements providing external control of information sources.
  • (Klostermann, 2004) US 7076950 B2[40] Internal explosion engine and generator using non-combustible gases An internal explosion engine is generally similar in principle to an internal combustion engine except that it uses non-combustible gases such as air, oxygen, nitrogen or inert gas(es) instead of the combustible gases which are used in internal combustion engines. Prior to operation, the gas for operating an internal explosion engine is placed in the explosion chamber of the engine, and the chamber is sealed. During operation, the gas in the explosion chamber is repeatedly compressed, ionized, explosively expanded and contracted to move a piston or rotor or other movable device to convert kinetic energy to mechanical or electrical energy. Once the gas has been loaded into the explosion chamber, the engine can operate for extended periods of time without additional fuel. There is no need for fuel intake on each cycle of operation, as in an internal combustion engine, and there is no exhaust.
  • (Klostermann, 2014) US 9118265 B2[41] Pulsed plasma engine and method Pulsed plasma engine and method in which a noncombustible gas is introduced into an explosion chamber, the gas is ionized to form a plasma within the chamber, an electrical pulse is applied to the plasma to heat the plasma, the pulse is turned off to produce an explosive pressure pulse in the plasma, and the plasma is confined in the chamber by a magnetic field that directs the pressure pulse toward an output member which is driven by the pressure pulse.
  • (Jimmy Sabori, 1995) WO 1996012879 A1[42] Ion electromagnetic engine In accordance with the present invention in a reciprocating ion electromagnetic engine a workable method and apparatus is provided to produce energy to drive a piston by igniting an inert gas catalyst mixture encapsulated within a closed chamber housing the piston.
  • (Jimmy Sabori, 2014) US 20150275868 A1[27] Plasma ion engine A method of operating a plasma ion engine includes the steps of providing a mechanical engine having a vacuum in a chamber of the mechanical engine; injecting inert gases into the chamber of the mechanical engine; providing a pulse of electrical spark into the chamber of the mechanical engine; creating an electromagnetic field from the phase change of the inert gas; applying a high frequency radio signal into the chamber of the mechanical engine before and during the phase change of the inert gas; providing an anode and cathode interaction across the chamber; providing tantalum plates in the chamber; and receiving a portion of the electromagnetic field in the capacitors.

Ability to be scaled

Little is known at this stage. Noble gases are relatively rare, though Neon, Argon and Helium are commonly used.

Based on the description provided in the reference this appears to be a novel way of implementing an electrically powered engine. So it would not represent a source of energy as that is provided by the (input) electricity.

  • Typically, an engine is not considered an energy generator; rather a consumer of energy
  • Given a diverse range of technologies, each has its own (unique) scalability aspects

The energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. For this technology to be scaled up consideration needs to be given to the logistics of scaling up of the input energy and/or input materials, and to the environmental impact arising from pollutants, waste, and land use.

Environmental impact

If a noble gas engine were ever made to work (again), the environmental balance looks favourable. Whilst using noble gases, there seem to be no emissions, little if any radiation and, curiously, no waste heat generation. This last aspect make noble gas engines quite unique.

Energy technologies can be broadly categorised using the Sustainability Scale.[43] This takes into account all aspects of the technologies life-cycle, including its dependencies.

Transitioning global transport forms one of the hardest obstacles to overcome in an effort to decarbonise future energy systems. [44] So fuel free vehicles might be of interest in this respect. [45]

The long-term environmental impact of a prospective energy technology should be considered and compared with alternative technologies. One way to do this is to use a Sustainability Scale [46] Engine technologies that do not use a combustion process might have certain advantages over conventional engines: no emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons / volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, sulphur oxides, etc. In such cases, that would be a great achievement. However, this has to be balanced against any other emissions, byproducts or waste that might be produced by the technology. For example, electrical discharge arcs in air produce ozone, a powerful oxidising pollutant that causes damage to humans, animals and vegetation. [47] Some metals are considered toxic. [48]

Risks associated with a prize in this space

This is probably one of the only technologies that has reported a death during a demonstration[4], which is a good reminder that safety should be prime concern when running an X-Prize like this. Secondly, the explosion led to an out-of-court settlement with Caltech for the inventor, because one of their staff, the famous Richard Feynmann, pulled a plug from the experiment. This highlights the legal care that needs to be taken around testing of 3rd party devices.

Based on the description provided in the reference this appears to be a novel way of implementing an electrically powered engine. So it would not represent a source of energy as that is provided by the (input) electricity.

Risks are associated with all radical innovations, and that can be due to several factors. A good technology might not succeed in the marketplace due to poor marketing and promotion. The perceived safety and environmental impact of a technology is also important to successful adoption. [49] [50] [51] Poor implementation of a technology can also prevent successful adoption of a good technology. In addition, of course, there can be risks associated with the technical efficacy of the technology itself, and the logistics surrounding its development, operation and decommissioning. Although this category has the potential to solve urban air pollution, perhaps it is not within the scope of an abundant energy XPRIZE; depending on where the line is drawn and the actual technologies proposed.

Perhaps a future XPRIZE should look at this category?

Positive energy tests to evaluate this technology

If a working device of the calibre of Papp's tested engine were recreated, it should be rather straightforward to test it.

The adoption of a systems based approach that accounts for all energy components (input, output, losses, and energy within the prototype) will reveal the actual efficacy of the prototypes.

The inputs and outputs for any energy generation process can be represented as shown in the System Representation. The efficiency of the system is represented by the output energy divided by the input energy. Note that all energy inputs should be accounted for, including any internal energy storage within the prototype itself. This internal energy could be in any form, not just electrical energy. If the mechanisms behind the proposed technology are understood then testing should be relatively simple. Testing should establish the efficiency of the engine. If the operation of the engine is not understood, or dubious, then the following techniques might be useful: LENR testing.

Related technologies that are not primary energy sources

"Fuel free engine" may be interpreted as a thrust device that doesn't depend on ejecting mass (fuel) in order to create thrust. The "EMdrive" is such a technology. However, these devices run on electricity so do not constitute a primary energy source relevant for the Abundant Clean Energy challenge. Contributions to this space are listed here for reference.

Roger Shawyer - Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR Ltd)

Roger Shawyer credits his EmDrive to the work of Dr. Eric Laithwhite. Shawyer recalls Laithwhite gave a 1974 Christmas lecture at the Royal Institution in which he claimed a gyroscope could be used as a thruster. Shawyer says the Ministry of Defense became interested to know if this could be used for missile control, but this initial research concluded the idea could not be carried out mechanically. Shawyer at that time was working for Matra Marconi Space (a company of Marconi Space Systems, now EADS Astrium, where Shawyer spent 20 years) and started researching whether it could be accomplished electromagnetically, but had to leave Marconi and start Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR Ltd) to pursue this theory, one for which he was awarded grants from UK Government.[52]

Roger Shawyer's, C.Eng MIEE, white paper A Theory of Microwave Propulsion for Spacecraft can be found here.


A fuel-free engine is an engine using an alternative propulsion technology, as opposed to traditional fuel engines, using fuel combustion.

This technology is currently researched in the field of rocket engines. Fuel-free engines would bring incredible advantages in space travel industry, especially considering the small size of the craft (the vehicle would no longer be required to pull a huge tank of fuel for take-off and travel) and it opens the way to endless space exploration (given the craft can produce its own propulsion mean along the way).

According to Newton's 3rd law of motion[53] regarding conservation of momentum, generating thrust in the vacuum of space requires a mass ejection, which will generate an opposite force causing the object to move. However, fuel-free engines are unable to generate thrust in the same way as traditional fuel engines. The current fuel-free technology researched for rocket engines employs particles of light or bouncing microwaves inside a closed container to generate thrust.

The basic idea of the EMDrive is an asymmetrical cavity where microwaves are bounced around inside. Since the microwaves are trapped inside the cavity, there is no propellent or emitted electromagnetic radiation to push the device in a particular direction, standard physics says there should be no thrust on the device. And yet, for reasons even the researchers can't explain, the EM Drive does appear to experience thrust when activated. The main criticism has focused on the fact that this device heats up when operated, and this could warm the surrounding air, producing a small thrust. In this new work the device was tested in a near vacuum, eliminating a major criticism[54].

A vacuum test campaign evaluating the impulsive thrust performance of a tapered radio-frequency test article excited in the transverse magnitude 212 mode at 1937 MHz has been completed. The test campaign consisted of a forward thrust phase and reverse thrust phase at less than  vacuum with power scans at 40, 60, and 80 W. The test campaign included a null thrust test effort to identify any mundane sources of impulsive thrust; however, none were identified. Thrust data from forward, reverse, and null suggested that the system was consistently performing with a thrust-to-power ratio of 1.2±0.1 mN/kW[55].

The scientific community is notoriously unconvinced about the propulsion system[56], when the concept was first proposed it was considered implausible because it went against the laws of physics. The August 1, 2014 article in Popular Science, Fuel-Less Space Drive May Actually Work, Says NASA contained a prototypical mainstream disclaimer:

“Whenever you get results that have extraordinary implications, you have to be cautious and somewhat skeptical that they can be repeated before you can accept them as a new theory,” Michael Baine, chief of engineering at Intuitive Machines says. “Really, it’s got to come down to peer review and getting that done before you can get any kind of acceptance that something exotic is going on here.”

Its allegedly fuel-free nature also means the drive may directly contradict the law of conservation of momentum. It suggests it would produce a forward-facing force without an equal and opposite force acting in the other direction[57].

Fuel-free engines produce energy by directing an electromagnetic field (i.e. microwaves, produced by high power vacuum tubes) inside a metallic, fully closed container. The electromagnetic field transfers momentum to container, thus producing thrust.[58]

These engines would require an electric power source to enable the microwave generator.

Based on the description provided in the reference this appears to be a novel way of implementing an electrically powered engine. So it would not represent a source of energy as that is provided by the (input) electricity.

More on the Roger Shawyer EmDrive was provided in an IAC13 Paper.

Gary Hudson hosted a lengthy discussion on this EmDrive and related space propulsion technlogy on the Friday October 14, 2016 Epidsode of The Space Show.

Open Source Replication

EmDrive enthusiasts have a vibrant community of open source replicators.

Intellectual Property

  • (1990 Roger Shawyer)[59] GB 2229865 AA unit which will generate thrust when provided with electrical energy at the appropriate frequency. This will enable the orbit of a spacecraft to be maintained or charged when applied over a period of time. The thrust is generated as a result of the difference in the forces obtained when the electromagnetic waves are reflected at the end walls 3 and 5 of a resonant waveguide assembly. This assembly comprises an air or vaccum filled end section 1 together with a transition section 6 and an end section 8 containing an electrical material 7.
  • (1998 Roger Shawyer)[60] GB 2334761 AThe thruster comprises a tapered waveguide comprising a section 1, that is evacuated or filled with air, and a section 6 containing a dielectiv or ferrite material whose permeability or relative permittivity (or both) have values greater than unity. Microwaves may be introduced into the guide via a slot 2, or a probe. It is stated that the force 9, on the end wal; 5, due to reflection from microwaves, is less than the force 4, exerted on the end wall 3, thereby generating a resultant propulsion thrust. The thruster may be used to enable the orbit of a spacecraft to be maintained or changed over a period of time.
  • (2004 Roger Shawyer)[61] GB 2399601 A A microwave engine, which produces high thrust, may be used to propel spacecraft where the thrust vector is at ninety degrees to the main velocity vector It may also be used in an airborne vehicle to counteract gravitational force. The engine comprise a gimbal mounted matrix of a number of superconducting microwave thrusters 11 which are supplied with pulses of microwave energy via an array of switches 15 and enclosed in a Dewar 19 which is maintained at low temperature by liquified gas. The engine may include an automatic control system to maintain the correct frequency of the microwave generator 7, a means 17 of dissipating the stored microwave energy, and a gyroscope instrument 21 and motors 22,23 for maintaining the axis of thrust parallel to the direction of gravitational acceleration for an airborne vehicle.
  • (2013 Roger Shawyer) GB 2493361 A A high Q microwave radiation thruster, used to accelerate a spacecraft or an airborne vehicle, comprises a tapered resonant cavity 10, with end plates 5 and 9. The endplates have internal convex and concave shapes to create a geometry such that every point ont the wavefront of the propagated electromagnetic wave, within the cavity, has the same path length between the end plates. The thruster includes explanding elements 6, which control the axial length of the cavity, such that the Doppler shift, caused by an acceleration of the cavity, can be compensated by a change of axial length. The thruster also includes means of controlling the pulse length and offset frequency of the input microwave power, in response to the acceleration of the cavity.
  • US 20140013724 A1[62] Electromagnetic thruster "Systems and methods for electromagnetic thrusting are disclosed. An electromagnetic thrusting system includes an axially-asymmetric resonant cavity including a conductive inner surface, the resonant cavity adapted to support a standing electromagnetic (EM) wave therein, the standing EM wave having an oscillating electric field vector defining a z-axis of the resonant cavity."
  • GB 2537119 A[63] Superconducting microwave radiation thruster "The invention improves on the design of a microwave thruster used to accelerate a spacecraft or airborne vehicle, as has been previously described, and sometimes referred to as an EMDrive thruster."

Cannae Drive - Guido Fetta

“A NASA study has recently concluded that the 'Cannae Drive,' a disruptive new method of space propulsion, can produce small amounts of thrust without the use of propellant, in apparent discordance with Newton's third law. According to its inventor, the device can harness microwave radiation inside a resonator, turning electricity into a net thrust. If further verified and perfected, the advance could revolutionize the space industry, dramatically cutting costs for both missions in deep space and satellites in Earth orbit.”  This drive was invented by American scientist Guido Fetta, and the article states, “The system has many striking similarities with the EmDrive, designed by British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer...”[64]

This and other news articles are in response to NASA's Johnson Space Station paper[65] detailing and giving credence to Fetta's Cannae Drive LLC technology, the NASA report titled: Nasa's Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum.

The Guido Fetta patent US 20140013724 A1 for an electromagnetic thruster references Lorenz (electromagnetic) forces 64 times.[66]

According to another Popular Mechanics report, Cannae has formed a company called Theseus with industrial partners LAI International of Tempe, AZ and SpaceQuest Ltd. of Fairfax, VA to launch the satellite. No launch date has yet been announced, but 2017 seems likely.[67]

Quantum Vacuum (Fluctuations) Plasma Thrusters

NASA's Harold “Sonny” White[68] and Paul March led a study into this technology described the phenomena in terms of the quantum vacuum, titled as such: Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum. This closely ties this technology to what others describe as zero point energy, where both are explained using the dynamic casimir effect. The White and March paper references the MIT Review of First Observation of the Dynamical Casimir Effect. The subheading within this paper describes an experiment, "A rapidly moving mirror that turns virtual photons into real ones is the first experimental evidence of the dynamical Casimir effect."


  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.google.com/patents/US4428193
  2. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/emdrive-and-cold-fusion
  3. http://rexresearch.com/papp/1papp.htm
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://revolution-green.com/unconventional-green-energy/the-papp-engine-history-and-current-progress/
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue51/papp.html
  6. http://www.rohnermachine.com/Files/TheDreamMachine.pdf
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