The NASA Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster
Cliquez ici pour la version Franšaise
By Jean-Louis Naudin
created on November 18th, 2001 - JLN Labs - Last update March 30, 2004
All informations in this page are published free and are intended for private/educational purposes and not for commercial applications
On November 13, 2001, the NASA patent US 6,317,310 " Apparatus and Method for generating a thrust using a two dimensional asymmetrical capacitor module " has been granted.
On the NASA TechFinder web site ( Public
Release Date : Nov 6, 2001 ), we can read :
<< Objective : NASA scientists have discovered a method for generating thrust from two dimensional asymmetrical capacitor modules. The results are potentially greater efficiencies and improved reliability over currently available electric thrusters.
Description : In the past, inductive technology has been needed to create thrust, rotational motion, or step an actuator using electricity. This new technology accomplishes these tasks and more by using high potential, low current asymmetrical capacitor modules. The dielectric material of a capacitor under high voltage experiences a force. Based on the geometry of the capacitor, its material properties, and ambient conditions, the force can be predicted and utilized to move the entire capacitor and its mounting in a predictable direction. It had been theorized that thrust generation from this phenomenon was feasible, but no working prototypes had been developed, until now. >> ( Click here to read the full document )
and method for generating thrust using a two dimensional,
asymmetrical capacitor module
A capacitor module system is provided for creating
a thrust force. The system includes a capacitor module
provided with a first conductive element having a
cylindrical geometry. The first conductive element can be
a hollow cylinder or a solid cylinder. The capacitor
module also includes a second conductive element axially
spaced from the first conductive element and of smaller
axial extent. The second conductive element can be a flat
disk, a dome, or a conductive tip at the end of a
dielectric rod. A dielectric element is disposed between
the first conductive element and the second conductive
element. The system also includes a high voltage source
having first and second terminals connected respectively
to the first and second conductive elements. The high
voltage source applies a high voltage to the conductive
elements of sufficient value to create a thrust force on
the module inducing movement thereof.
This apparatus has been tested in June 2001 by Transdimensional Technologies in the vacuum chamber of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center ( MSFC ) in Huntsville ( see the photo of the apparatus tested in vacuum by TdT )
Today, on November 18, 2001, I have fully replicated and tested successfully the NASA thruster experiment ( see the photo below ).
Tested apparatus description :
I have used the same design as described in the patent figure 2 : << Referring to FIG. 2, the module depicted, which is generally denoted 20, differs from that of FIG. 1 in that a simple cylindrical dielectric element 25 is positioned between conductive cylinder 22 and disk 24, instead of the cylindrical dielectric cylinder 15 and dielectric rods 16 employed in the embodiment of FIG. 1. >> ( see the photo below )
The two asymmetrical capacitors are
made with a copper tube, a Polystyrene
cylinder for the dielectric and an aluminum disk.
The capacitors are fixed on a 440 mm diameter frictionless rotor, and the HV is sent through the main rotation axis.
Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster
Asymmetrical capacitor :
|Material||Dielectric constant ( K )||Dielectric Strength ( V/m )|
|Barium Strontium Titanate ( BaSrTiO3 )||13800||10e7|
Click here to se some construction details of the apparatus
TESTS RESULTS ( 11-18-01 ) :
When the HV power supply is switched on, the Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster begins to rotate and accelerates quickly to a high speed. The first test has been conducted with the basic 30 KV DC pulsed power supply that I have used for the Basic Lifter experiment. See the detailled diagram of this basic 30 KV power supply.
During some other tests conducted with an enhanced power supply, the average voltage measured was 24 KV DC and the current 51 uA at 10 KHz. All the parasitic leakage current has been removed by using insulated wires, so this explains the low value of the current required for getting the effect. The High Voltage Power required for a full speed rotation ( 65 RPM ) was only 1.22 Watts...
The test curve below has been done at 29 KV DC @ 60 uA ( 1.74 W ) :
See the video of Two Dimensional Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster experiment
To see the videos, the free downloadable RealPlayer is required
Click on the picture above to see the video ( 846 Kb )
Documents references :
The Transdimensional Technologies web site
Read the NASA
and see the FULL NASA PATENT US 6,317,310 ( granted November 13, 2001 )
NASA MFS 31419_1 - Apparatus & Method for Generating Thrust Using a Two Dimensional, Asymmetrical Capacitor;
General Specification of KAPTON« polyimide film by Goodfellow
See also :
The ACT Working principle proposal by JL Naudin
The Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster v2.0
The Asymmetrical Capacitor Thruster v3.0
Email : JNaudin509@aol.com
Return to the Lifters experiments page