Investigations on Thrust-to-Power of an Ionic Wind Propulsion

Uwe Schichler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A pair of asymmetrical electrodes under high voltage can produce an ionic wind and thrust. This phenomenon was discovered by Brown in the early 1920s and is known as Biefeld Brown effect. Electrical forces are able to accelerate ions in air and this has been proposed as an alternative method to today's standard propelling airplanes. The main advantages of the proposed full electric propulsion are: no moving parts, nearly silent in operation, and no combustion emissions. MIT realized the first flight of an airplane with solid-state propulsion based on ionic wind in 2018. The proof-of-concept airplane had a wingspan of 5 m and several free steady-level flights for more than 45 m and durations of about 10 seconds each were reported. A challenge for the future is to maximize the thrust-to-power ratio of ionic wind propulsion for electroaerodynamic airplanes. The experimental investigations carried out on different EAD thrusters with electrode gap distances of up to 80 mm showed a maximum thrust of 220 mN/m and a thrust-to-power ratio of 8.9 N/kW for a thrust of 100 mN/m.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application, ICHVE 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781728155111
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2020
Event7th IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application, ICHVE 2020 - Beijing, China
Duration: 6 Sep 202010 Sep 2020

Publication series

Name7th IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application, ICHVE 2020 - Proceedings

Conference

Conference7th IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application, ICHVE 2020
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period6/09/2010/09/20

Keywords

  • Biefeld Brown Effect
  • EAD thruster
  • electroaerodynamic airplane
  • ionic wind propulsion
  • thrust-to-power ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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