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JASON - Nanoflyer

JASON - Nanoflyer

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Published by Impello_Tyrannis
ELECTROSTATIC FLIGHT
A recent proposal by Daedalus Research suggests using electrostatic forces to lift and propel a small airborne vehicle. We show here that although this is permitted by the laws of physics, it is very inefficient, and is limited· to low areal loads by the requirement to avoid electric breakdown.
Electrostatic propulsion offers no special advantages which might justify the price of its inefficiency.
In electrostatic propulsion, just as in propulsion by a rotating airfoil, it is not necessary to exert thrust directly downward in the manner of a helicopter. It may be possible to employ a wing to provide lift and to make the thrust horizontal, only overcoming the drag induced by flow over the wing. Just as for a conventional aircraft, this reduces the thrust required
to maintain altitude, in comparison to that required by a helicopter, by the lift-to-drag ratio L/ D of the vehicle. This is about 5 even for very small (cm-sized) wings, but may be less for the vehicle as a whole because of the necessity of moving a broad electrostatic propulsor broadside through the air.
The principle of electrostatic lift and propulsion is to fill a volume of air with a net negative charge density by introducing electrons from a field emitting cathode, and then to exert a force on this charged air by applying an electric field. The charged air fills the volume between two parallel flat electrodes, taken to be squares of side s separated by a distance b. We will make the approximation that this can be treated electrically as if b « s, neglecting fringing fields.
ELECTROSTATIC FLIGHT
A recent proposal by Daedalus Research suggests using electrostatic forces to lift and propel a small airborne vehicle. We show here that although this is permitted by the laws of physics, it is very inefficient, and is limited· to low areal loads by the requirement to avoid electric breakdown.
Electrostatic propulsion offers no special advantages which might justify the price of its inefficiency.
In electrostatic propulsion, just as in propulsion by a rotating airfoil, it is not necessary to exert thrust directly downward in the manner of a helicopter. It may be possible to employ a wing to provide lift and to make the thrust horizontal, only overcoming the drag induced by flow over the wing. Just as for a conventional aircraft, this reduces the thrust required
to maintain altitude, in comparison to that required by a helicopter, by the lift-to-drag ratio L/ D of the vehicle. This is about 5 even for very small (cm-sized) wings, but may be less for the vehicle as a whole because of the necessity of moving a broad electrostatic propulsor broadside through the air.
The principle of electrostatic lift and propulsion is to fill a volume of air with a net negative charge density by introducing electrons from a field emitting cathode, and then to exert a force on this charged air by applying an electric field. The charged air fills the volume between two parallel flat electrodes, taken to be squares of side s separated by a distance b. We will make the approximation that this can be treated electrically as if b « s, neglecting fringing fields.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Impello_Tyrannis on Apr 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Nanoflyer
Study Leader:
].
KatzContributors Include:
R.
Garwin
W.
Press
October 1997JSR-97-115
Approved
for
public release; distribution
unlimit~d.
JASON
The
MITRE
Corporation
1820 Dolley Madison BoulevardMclean, Virginia 22102-3481(703) 883-6997
 
REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE
Fonn ApprovedOMS
No.
0704-0188
Public reporting burden for this collection of Information estimated to average
1
hour per response, Including the time for review Instructions, searc
hing
existing data sources,gathering and maJntalnlng the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of Information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate
or
any other aspect of thiscollection
01
Information, Including suggestions for
redUCing
this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate
lor
Inlormatlon Operations
and
Reports,
1215
JeffersonDavis Highway, Suite
1204,
Arlington, VA
22202-4302,
and to the Office
01
Management and Budget. Paperwork Reduction Project
(0704-0188),
Washington,
DC
20503.
1.
AGENCY USE
ONLY
(Leave blank)
12.
REPORT DATE
r'
REPORT TYPE
AND
DATESCOVERED
October
13,
1997
4.
TITLE
AND
SUBTITLE
S.
RJNDlNGNUMBERS
Nanoflyer
6.
AUTHOR(S)
13-988534-04
J.
Katz,R
Garwin,
W.
Press
7.
PERFORMINGORGANIZATIONNAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
8.
PERFORMING ORGANIZATION
The MITRE Corporation
REPORT NUMBER
JASON Program Office
JSR-97-115
1820 Dolley Madison Blvd
Mclean,
Virginia 22102
9.
SPONSORINGIMONITORING AGENCY NAME(S)
AND
ADDRESS(ES)
10.
SPONSORINGIMONITORINGAGENCY
REPORT
NUMBER
Advanced Research Projects Agency
3701
North
Fairfax Drive
JSR-97-115
Arlington, Va. 22203-1714
11.
SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
12a.
DISTRIBUTIONlAVAILABIUTY
STATEMENT
12b.
DISTRIBUTION
CODE
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.Distribution Statement A
~3.
ABSTRACT
(Maximum 200 words)
A recent proposal
to
use electrostatic forces to lift
and
propel
a small airborne vehicle isexamined. We
showhere
that
although this is permitted
by
the
laws
of
physics,
it
is veryinefficient,
and
is limited to low areal loads
by
the requirement to avoid electric breakdown.Electrostatic
propulsion
offers
no
special advantages which
might
justify the price of itsinefficiency.
~4.
SUBJECT
TERMS
7.
SECURITY CLASSIFICATION18. SECURITY CLASSIFICA
nON
OF REPORTOF THIS PAGE
UnclassifiedUnclassified
NSN
7S40'()1-28~SOO
19. SECURITY CLASSIFICATIONOFABSTRACT
Unclassified
15. NUMBER
OF
PAGES16.
PHICt:
cuut:
flO.
LIMII
ATION
OF
ABSTRACT
SAR
Standard Form
298
(Rev. 2-89)
Prnc:ribed
by
ANSI
Std. Z39-18
298-102
 
ELECTROSTATIC FLIGHT
A recent proposal by Dredalus Research suggests using electrostaticforces
to
lift and propel a small airborne vehicle.
We
show here
that
although this
is
permitted by the laws of physics, it is very inefficient, and islimited·
to
low
areal loads by the requirement to avoid electric breakdown.Electrostatic propulsion offers no special advantages which might justify theprice of its inefficiency.In electrostatic propulsion, just
as
in propulsion by a rotating airfoil,
it
is not necessary to exert thrust directly downward in the manner of ahelicopter. It may be possible to employ a wing to provide lift and
to
makethe thrust horizontal, only overcoming the drag induced by
flow
over thewing.
Just
as
for
a conventional aircraft, this reduces
the
thrust requiredto maintain altitude, in comparison to
that
required by a helicopter, by thelift-to-drag ratio
L/
D
of the vehicle. This is about 5 even
for
very small(em-sized) wings, but may be
lessfor
the vehicle
as
a whole because of thenecessity of moving a broad electrostatic propulsor broadside through theair.The principle of electrostatic lift and propulsion is to
fill
a volume ofair with a net negative charge density by introducing electrons from a fieldemitting cathode, and then
to
exert a force on this charged air by applyingan electric field. The charged air
fills
the volume between two parallel flatelectrodes, taken to be squares of side
s
separated by a distance
b.
We
willmake the approximation
that
this can be treated electrically as if
b
«
s,
neglecting fringing fields.Electrons are assumed to be injected
at
the cathode by field emission
at
numerous sharp points, and then to attach to O
2
molecules, which have an
1,
)TIC
QUALE'Y
IIilSPE(JTED
;,

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