There is some interesting news concerning research into the EM Drive propulsion system — an invention of British engineer Roger Shawyer. Shawyer and other proponents claim that the EM Drive requires no propellant, but is able to convert electricity directly into thrust. This is something that is considered to be impossible by many in the mainstream physics community.
A paper has just been published by two German researchers, Martin Tajmar and G. Fielder, from the Technical University of Dresden who have carried out experiments with the EM Drive system, and who now confirm measurement of production of thrust. The title of the article is “Direct Thrust Measurements of an EMDrive and Evaluation of Possible Side-Effects”. See here for a link to the PDF (full text not available for free) The abstract of the article reads in part:
“After measuring the Q-factor of our assembly, we connected the EMDrive to a commercial 700 W microwave Magnetron. After a thermal mapping of the surfaces, we performed thrust measurements with a knife-edge balance as well as with a torsion balance in a vacuum chamber. Our measurements reveal thrusts as expected from previous claims after carefully studying thermal and electromagnetic interferences . . . Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EMDrive, but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far. Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena. Next steps include better magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EMDrive models with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal operation.”
So this is an interesting step in the EM Drive story, where two apparently well qualified, and well equipped researchers are able to measure the thrust that have been proposed by EM Drive proponents. We read above that Tajmar and Fielder are careful not to confirm or deny the reality of the phenomonen, but this study will surely add more weight to the claims that the EM Drive represents a radical new way to propel vehicles and other bodies — especially in space travel — without need for on-board fuel.
This article by David Hambling from Wired UK looks at the EM Drive, and states that there are multiple labs around the world working on their own versions of the EM Drive, and that Guido Fetta, who has already published positive findings from his similar Cannae Drive will be publishing new results from tests in the fourth quarter this year.