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Directory:Magnetohydrodynamics:Plasma-Powered Flying Saucers

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Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is "the theory of the macroscopic interaction of electrically conducting fluids with a magnetic field. It is of importance in connection with many engineering problems such as plasma confinement, liquid-metal cooling of nuclear reactors, and electromagnetic casting. It also finds applications in geophysics and astronomy." A.J. Meir

Contents

About

How it Works

A hovering micro air vehicle, comprising: a body having an aperture therethrough; a plurality of electrode pairs positioned proximate a surface of the body such that each electrode pair creates a plasma actuator that creates a near-surface body force when an RF voltage is applied across each electrode pair; and an RF voltage source for applying a pulsed RF voltage across each electrode pair, wherein the cumulative effect of the near-surface body force from each of the plurality of electrode pairs creates a vortical fluid column in the aperture that causes the micro air vehicle to hover. (Patent description)

Videos

(.26 Minutes) Charged particle in a magnetic field
Helicoidal motion of a charged particle in a uniform magnetic field. Other animations (YouTube; April 11, 2007)

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(.25 Minutes) Magnetohydrodynamics
Coupled Simulation of an arc in a Low-voltage-high-current safety switch. For more information see Theorie Elektromagnetischer Felder (YouTube; March 15, 2007)
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(.28 Minutes) Magnetohydrodynamics
MHD experiment the force field of magnet on plasma - gilles.charles@univ-orleans.fr (YouTube; Feb. 1, 2007)
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The Plasma-Powered Flying Saucer will not work like this -

(3.16 Minutes) Non-plasma-powered Hiller Flying Platform
Taking from the Discovery Channel. This is the Hiller Flying Platform of the 50's and 60's (YouTube; Jan. 4, 2007)

Patents

Abstract
Embodiments of the subject invention relate to a Wingless Hovering Micro Air Vehicle (WHOMAV) and its Power Source Unit (PSU). Embodiments can operate at reasonable power levels for hovering and withstanding expected wind gusts. Embodiments of the subject invention can have a diameter less than 15 cm. Embodiments can have one or more smooth (continuous curvature) surface and can be operated using electromagnetic and electrohydrodynamic principles. The wingless design of specific embodiments can allow operation with no rotating or moving components. Additional embodiments can allow active response to the surrounding flow conditions. The issue of low lift to drag ratio and degradation of airfoil efficiency due to the inability of laminar boundary layers attachment can also be significantly reduced, or eliminated. The electromagnetic force can be generated by applying a pulsed (alternating/rf) voltage between a set of grounded and powered electrodes separated by a polymer insulator, dielectric, or other material with insulating properties.

Coverage

In the News

  • Directory:Electrorheology - "Rheology is defined as 'the science of the deformation and flow of matter'. This involves the study of what can informally be called "funny fluids" and soft solids." It is also being used in fuel injection technology, based on physics principles that proper application of electrorheology can reduce viscosity of petroleum fuels. (PESWIki; Sept. 29, 2008)
  • “WINGLESS HOVERING OF MICRO AIR VEHICLE."' - The design is a saucer with electrodes all along the bottom. They would ionize the air below the saucer and thus make a plasma that could be used to generate lift. The same (or different?) electrodes would create electric fields that would interact with the plasma to create a force. By cleverly arranging the electrodes on the surface of the saucer, there would be a net upwards force on the saucer, causing it to hover. Presumably you could tweak the electric fields and/or plasmas to steer the craft without having any moving parts. He proposes filling the saucer with helium to decrease the amount of force needed to get it off the ground. (Plot Provoking Science; May 7, 2008)
  • Invention: Plasma-powered flying saucer - With a span of less than 15 centimetres, Subrata Roy's aircraft qualifies as a micro air vehicle (MAV), but it has an unconventional design to say the least. It is a saucer shape covered with electrodes that ionise air to create a plasma. (New Scientist Tech; May 6, 2008)

Other Coverage

Inventor and Contact

University of Florida
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
336 MAE-B
PO Box 116250
Gainesville, FL 32611-6250
phone: (352) 392-9823
E-Mail: roy@ufl.edu


Comments

See Discussion page

I think something similar to this could be used to alter the effective air displacement shape of an ordinary vehicle so that it might be less resistant to the flow of air around it. (adrianakau2aol.com)

References

See also

NUCLEAR FOOTER

TYPES OF REACTORS

NUCLEAR WASTE

SPECIFIC PROJECTS

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