They develop a drone with ion propulsion that does not need propellers | Mexico | Spain | United States | TECHNOLOGY

One of the biggest challenges that drones and flying vehicles have is not their load capacity or their autonomy, but the noise they generate. However, a with ion propulsion seems to have overcome this drawback.

It is the Silent Ventus, an aerial vehicle developed by the company Undefined Technologies, whose main advantage is that –thanks to its technology– it is much quieter than conventional models.

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The most striking thing about this drone is that it does not have propellers, since ion propulsion does not need them. Ion propulsion was discovered in 1921, but until now it has only been used for very specific projects, mostly spacecraft.

But how does the drone work?

Thanks to two electrode grids that it has on the lateral sidess generates high-voltage electric fields that can ionize oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air, releasing electrons to give them a positive charge, and then propelling them downward to create a “ionic wind” that can produce thrust, as explained in the specialized portal .

The great advantage of this technology is that it is considerably less noisy than traditional propellers. Plus, it generates 150% more thrust than conventional drone motors.

On the contrary, the great disadvantage is that this type of technology consumes more energy and makes the vehicle more difficult to manoeuvre. And not only that, it is more sensitive to weather because it is propelled by the atmosphere.

Undefined has already managed to fly its ion-powered drone for 4.5 minutes outdoors, which they say is proof of its commercial viability. They want to put it up for sale in 2024.


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