Indian origin scientist designs plasma-propelled flying saucerJune 12th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, June 12 (ANI): A scientist of Indian origin from the University of Florida in the US has conceptualized the design for a plasma-propelled flying saucer.
The scientist in question is Subrata Roy, University of Florida mechanical and aerospace engineering associate professor.
Roy has submitted a patent application for a circular, spinning aircraft design reminiscent of the spaceships seen in countless Hollywood films. However, he calls his design a wingless electromagnetic air vehicle, or WEAV.
The proposed prototype is small the aircraft will measure less than six inches across and will be efficient enough to be powered by on-board batteries.
The propulsion system for Roys saucer sprouts from his extensive US Air Force-funded plasma actuator research.
According to Roy, the design can be scaled up and theoretically should work in a much larger form. Even in miniature, though, the design has many uses.
The most obvious functions would be surveillance and navigation. The aircraft could be designed to carry a camera and light and be controlled remotely at great distances, he said.
Fittingly, Roys flying saucer one day could soar through atmospheres other than Earths own. For example, the aircraft would be an ideal vehicle for the exploration of Titan, Saturns sixth moon, which has high air density and low gravity.
The vehicle will be powered by a phenomenon called magnetohydrodynamics, or the force created when a current or a magnetic field is passed through a conducting fluid.
In the case of Roys aircraft, the conducting fluid will be created by electrodes that cover each of the vehicles surfaces and ionize the surrounding air into plasma.
The force created by passing an electrical current through this plasma pushes around the surrounding air, and that swirling air creates lift and momentum and provides stability against wind gusts.
In order to maximize the area of contact between air and vehicle, Roys design is partially hollow and continuously curved, like an electromagnetic flying bundt pan.
One of the most revolutionary aspects of Roys use of magnetohydrodynamics is that the vehicle will have no moving parts.
The lack of traditional mechanical aircraft parts, such as propellers or jet engines, should provide tremendous reliability, said Roy.
Such a design also will allow the WEAV to hover and take off vertically.
Roy is confident that the unique nature of his design will allow it to clear the technological hurdles and take to the skies, and is not deterred by the risk of failure.
Of course the risk is huge, but so is the payoff, he said. If successful, we will have an aircraft, a saucer and a helicopter all in one embodiment, he added. (ANI)
Tags: air density, aircraft design, electrical current, electrodes, hollywood films, indian origin, low gravity, magnetic field, patent application, professor roy, propulsion system, saturns, six inches, spaceships, sprouts, subrata roy, swirling air, university of florida, us air force, wind gusts