New Lifter Designs based on ion-drift theory

by Evgenij Barsoukov

  • Contents:

  • 3-electrode  AC/DC lifter proposal

    Any theory is good only if it allows to improve some technolgoy. 
    Equation F=i*d/k suggests, that it is desirable to maximaze amount of available charge (and corespondingly current) 
    without increasing d or V. 

    For this we need to de-couple charge generation from ion-aceleration. This could b
    be achieved by  simple 3-electrode AC-DC lifter design. Instead of 
    corona wire we use two winded together wires, one of which is
    insulated with sufficiently thick teflon insulation (lets call 
    it "base"). We apply between this 2 electrodes AC voltage sufficient 
    to produce sustained barrier discharge. Because of very small 
    distance between electrodes required AC voltage would be quite small, 
    say 5 kV. It can be further reduced by coating the insulation with 
    ferroelectric material pelets but for preliminary test it is not 

    Now, as we already have our plasma, we only need to "suck" out of it
    ions of one polarity. For this we place with distance d (much larger
    than usual, say 100 mm, a collector and apply DC voltage between
    it and not-insulated wire, "emmiter" (which should be +). This way we 
    should achieve noticeable current betwen emmiter and collector at 
    quite large distances d but reasonably small DC and AC voltages 
    applied and those get much higher F=i*d/k at lower power. Is this a 
    way to radically improve thrust/power ratio and escape from the 
    need of magic lifter electrode confuguration and very high voltages 
    needed for initiation of corona? Some cool experimentator is required 
    to answer this question...

    3-electrode impulse ionization lifter

    Using AC/DC 3-electrode arrangement holds promice to achieve high current 
    between corona wire and collector at  large distances d between them
    (low current is the bigest problem in creation highly efficient yet compact high-d lifters).
    Rememnber, that force/power ratio ef=d/(k*V) is directly proportional to distance
    between wire and collector d. But due to low current at high d lifter using this property
    requires very long wire/colllector to achive significunt force (F=i*d/k).

    First trials of 3 electrode AC/DC lifter by Saviour indicated that
    there is an exceesive ozone formation when barrier discharge is involved.
    This could be solved by decreasing distance between two AC-electrodes to
    reduce plasma volume. However, anohter method could be - to generate usual 
    small-volume corona using  second collector (C0) with very small 
    distance d0 (say 10 mm) to corona wire W for preliminary ionization. 

    But then all ions buit on the wire would be "consumed" by this second 
    collector C0 (as it is much nearer then the usual one). To prevent that, we
    should switch OFF voltage between W and C0 before (!) ions will reach C0.
    This means, Impulse voltage E(C0) would be applied between C) and corona wire, while 
    continuous voltage E(C) would be applied between corona and usual 
    collector C (at large d, say 90 cm) to "pick up" all generated ions. 
    Here is the schematic of impulse waveform which should be applied between
    collector0 and corona wire:

    What would happen:

    1) Short impulse of voltage E(C0) is applied at short distance d0, 
    high corona current starts between C0 and W due to small distance 
    between them and correspondingly high fild intensity near corona 
    wire. Impulse duration should be short, so +ions originated from wire 
    can not reach the C0 during this time. 
    "Ionizing impulse" duration such as to provide that ions do not 
    reach C0 yet could be easily calculated from ion velocity equation v= 
    k*E/d0 which gives flight time dt = d0^2 / k*E(C0). 

    1a) Note that due to short impulse duration no arching can happen, so
    d0 can be less then usual 30 mm.

    2) When impulse has ended, we have lots of positive ions in the air 
    between W anc C0. Because there is no more negative charge at C0, the 
    only way for ions is to move to C. 

    3) Ions move to C, producing large thrust in correspondence with

    4) Next ionizing impulse is applied after all ions have reached C
    which will happen after dt2= d^2/k*E(C1). 

    What we have achieved - we practically would have corona-current 
    defined by distance d0, while the thrust would be defined by d.
    Time average current would still be less then that if E(C0) would be 
    applied continuously, but hopefuly higher then pure E(C) current. 
    This could solve two problems

    1) increase thrust at large d (without sacrificing the good 
    efficiency which is proportional to d ef=d/(k*E(C))), so we reduce 
    the necessary size of the whole electrode array.

    2) Reducting minimal allowed wire/wire distance. Due to small 
    distance between actual ion-producing electrodes W and C0 we can 
    reduce requirement to wire/wire spacing.
    Right now we are confined to 10 cm (optimistically, and tested 
    only for d=30mm) between corona wires due to field interraction 
    between them which increase corona onset voltage. But if primary 
    ionizing impulse collector C0 is as near to corona wire as another 
    corona wire, we would have negligible interferance from that second 
    corona wire. This could allow much more compact ionic propulsion 

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