Wingless, Electromagnetic Aerial Vehicle that is Quieter and Omnidirectional

Technology #13289

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Researchers
Subrata Roy
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 8,382,029

Performs Better in Adverse Conditions Due to Increased Stablity and Improved Maneuverability

This wingless, hovering aerial vehicle not only utilizes an advanced power source, but also maintains stability during adverse weather conditions such as windstorms. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become increasingly important tools for military and nonmilitary applications. They are particularly useful in so called 3-D missions – those considered too dull, dirty or dangerous for direct human involvement. Exhibiting a high degree of versatility, these devices can take the place of soldiers, firefighters and hazmat personnel in tedious surveillance tasks, exploring dilapidated structures and collecting chemical or biological samples. Recognizing the demand for advancement in this field, researchers at the University of Florida has invented a UAV that is superior to plane-style, helicopter-style and bird/insect-style flyers. Less than six inches in diameter, the UAV is powered by a system that employs electricity and magnetism for propulsion. The new micro aerial vehicle (MAV) benefits from better maneuverability in tight spaces than traditional fixed-wing aircraft, does not require noisy blades found in rotary-type designs and is less sensitive to wind gusts than flapping-wing micro-flyers. The US government and private industries have already invested millions of dollars in this field.

Application

An aerial vehicle that uses electromagnetic propulsion to generate lift and forward thrust

Advantages

  • Employs an ingenious design, affording greater stability under windy conditions
  • Able to move in any direction (360 degrees), achieving unsurpassed maneuverability
  • Propulsion system permits vertical take-offs and landings, eliminating the need for a runway
  • Functions without moving parts, achieving low observability and noise, and boosting reliability
  • Uses power efficiently, reducing operating costs
  • Could possibly incorporate cameras or sensors in the future, making it an ideal tool for intelligence-gathering

Technology

This unmanned, aerial flyer receives its power from an electric current or magnetic field that passes through a conducting fluid. Electrodes on the device’s exterior ionize surrounding air, forming a thin layer of plasma. Plasma simply refers to positively charged particles that are accompanied by detached electrons. When these charged particles are repelled away from the vehicle, propulsion is achieved. Horizontal movement is created by electrodes found along the vehicle’s top and underneath surfaces. In addition to controlling altitude, electrodes placed on the side of the flyer allow for vertical take-offs and landings. In one embodiment of the invention, the device is filled with helium gas to make it gravity-neutral.