Good morning Rambabu,
I looked more closely over the “R&D Associate” funding requirements and, although most things fit like a glove, it is primarily directed towards a company hiring a PhD graduate. In my meeting on Monday with Stacey, I will ask if there is another funding program better suited to our requirements or if I can use the funds to hire you and a graduate student as consultants.
They have a word document that I will have to fill out and getting it completed will involve some of your time. After my 10:30am talk with Stacey on Monday, I will phone you with more details and I might pop over to the University to discuss the next step. Do you have time at 1pm on Monday for an afternoon meeting?
FYI – The company name I am doing this research under is “Levitee”, a trade-markable modification of “levity” or “lightness in weight” and I have an email address “sean _ at _ levitee.com”
Below is a rough copy of the proposal, which I will have to modify to fit their proposal submission document. Even if funding is not approved, I still plan to get the simulations done in the meantime and to apply at a number of other sources. The trick is to throw out as many applications as possible and see if any of them will stick.
Are you willing to help me without funding, assuming I cover the material costs?
Funding is requested to eliminate all mundane explanations for the movement of a “microwave propulsion” experiment, or “EMDrive” as originally designed by Roger Shawyer in 2001. In collaboration with Dr. Karumudi, associate professor of microwave engineering at the University of Alberta, the “yearly research allowance” will be used to purchase simulation tools and the “stipend” used to pay Dr. Karumudi and a graduate student to properly test a reproduction of Shawyer’s cavity. If the cavity moves and all mundane explanations have been eliminated, then it could be a significant breakthrough in propulsion. The initial application will be for station keeping of satellites, however, if the resultant force can be scaled up significantly and Shawyer’s experiments suggested it can, then much larger forces should be possible. The cavity has been designed and all the necessary parts purchased, and what is needed now if funding for final fabrication and testing.
After a long and successful career in microwave engineering, an British engineer named Roger Shawyer decided to investigate an anomaly that had plagued linear accelerators. Linear accelerators use high power resonating chambers to increase the speed of the particles and in doing so, they ran into a problem with the cavities detuning . The problem was that, at full power, the cavities were decreasing their lengths slightly. In 2001 after retiring from his job at EADS Astrium, he created a company and got funding to see if the force that was causing the detuning could be used for propulsion.
Over the course of the past seven years, Roger Shawyer has built three generations of microwave thrusters, each with a higher Q or Quality factor, a measure of the electrical “resistance”. The first tapered cavity, made out of copper, had a Q of 5900 and for approximately 500W input power, produced 84mN of force. The second copper cavity he called the “Demonstration Engine”, had a Q of 50,000 and produced 214mN of force.
Shawyer has recently created a superconducting version of his cavity which has a Q of 6,800,000 and although he got “exactly the results” he expected, he has not released the force measurements.
The objective of this proposal is to reproduce Shawyer’s “Demonstration Engine” and if movement is noted, to eliminate all mundane explanations.
This research is not without it’s criticism because the theory Shawyer suggests to explain the asymmetrical force has problems. However, the theory is outside of the scope of the experiment this proposal will fund and the sole purpose is to independently reproduce the results and eliminate all mundane explanations. The experiment will be done in collaboration with Dr. Karumudi, assistant professor at the University of Alberta and 2005 winner of the Governor’s Generals Gold Medal award for top graduate students. 
This independent verification the proposal will help test is not unique. As mentioned in an September 24th, 2008 article in Wired Magazine  a Chinese professor by the name of Yang Jan at the Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an is also racing to recreate the effect as well.
 “Lorentz Force Detuning Analysis of the Spallation Neutron Source Accelerating Cavities”, R. Mitchel, et.all, Los Almos National Lab
 “Lorentz Force Detuning Compensation System for Accelerating Field Gradients Up to 35MV/M for Superconducting XFEL and TESLA Nine-Cell Cavities”, P. Sekalski, et.al., Technical University of Lodz, DMSC, Poldan, CARE conference, 2001.
 “Chinese Say They’re Building ‘Impossible’ Space Drive”, David Hambling, September 24th, 2008, http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/chinese-buildin.html
 “Top Graduate Student Streamlines Microwave Design”, The Ring, June 2005, Vol. 31, No. 6 – http://ring.uvic.ca/05jun09/features/rambabu.html
 Background of EMdrive, Roger Shawyer, http://emdrive.com/background.html
 Demonstrator Engine, video footage of movement, Roger Shawyer, http://emdrive.com/dynamictests.html
The experiment will reproduce the “Demonstration Engine” and a simplified 3D model is shown below:
The magnetron, supporting structure, measurement/power hardware and cooling radiator are not shown.
Using the lab facilities at the UofA, the experimental apparatus will be constructed. Once complete and tuned, if the cavity moves, the following experiments will be conducted to ensure that all mundane explanations are eliminated:
- Hung as a Pendulum – In order to eliminate movement due to the cavity pushing or pulling on an external reference point, it will be hung from a long wire and tested.
- Inside Faraday Cage – If the cavity passes the first test, it will then be placed inside a Faraday cage to ensure no electrical or magnetic interactions with the surroundings are the cause of movement.
- Test for Buoyancy – Heated and/or moving air could account for the force being generated and will also be eliminated.
Upon completion of testing, a journal-ready paper outlining all the testing methodologies and results will be written and submitted to the appropriate physics journal.
Per year, for two years:
$55,000 – one year stipend for Dr. Karumudi and/or graduate students
$3,500 – License for CST’s Microwave Studio modeling software per year. (see references)
$3,500 – Research Incidentals including extra waveguides, power couplers, etc.
Total per year: $62,000K
Total over two years: $124,000
The initial application is for satellite station-keeping and orientation. A cavity that can produce a unidirectional force with only microwaves has an advantage in terms of launch weight and longevity over a propellant based propulsion method. Shawyer’s very first test cavity produced 85 mN of thrust compared to 92mN for the NSTAR ion drive, but Shawyer’s cavity only consumes a quarter of the amount of power. The microwave drive system including the cavity also weighs less than 7 kilos, compared to over 30 kilos for the ion drive.. The biggest difference is in propellant because the NSTAR uses 10 grams per hour whereas the microwave cavity uses none and will last as long as it has an electricity supply.
If the force can be scaled up, then it it might be possible to eventually replace most forms of reaction propulsion.
Conclusion and Benefits
This proposal meets the main objectives of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund:
- Stimulate research in science and engineering
- Promote the effective use of existing provincial science and engineering resources
Uses the lab at the University of Alberta and the expertise of Dr. Karumudi
- Support Alberta’s science and engineering research facilities
Supports the University of Alberta
- Minimize duplication and promote efficiency, by encouraging cooperation within science and engineering research
A collaboration with the University of Alberta.
- Encourage young Albertans to pursue careers in science and engineering
Will engage one of the newest faculty members of the University of Alberta and graduate students.
Levitee is a startup and meets the following criteria:
- Provincially or federally incorporated and operates in Alberta, or if not incorporated, is wholly Alberta-owned
Check – Levitee is a wholly Alberta-owned sole proprietorship
- Operates on a for-profit basis
- Possesses adequate and sound financial resources
Check – Levitee has already purchased %95 of the necessary parts for the experiment, including a circulator ($1200 new), reflection load ($600), waveguide to N transition ($600), the raw sheets of copper ($700), plasma cutter ($1100) and a computer with a quad core processor necessary for the simulation software ($3000).
- Engaged in R and D activities based, to a significant extent, on technology derived from science and engineering disciplines
Check – microwave engineering
- Maintains appropriate in-house research facilities such as laboratories and computing equipment within the company’s premises OR has access to external research facilities as supported by contractual agreements
Check – experiment will use the lab at the University of Alberta
- Has an effective plan for applying the research results, and marketing or exploiting products or processes in the best interests of the company and the Alberta economy
Research projects meets the following criteria to be eligible:
- Pre-competitive research focusing on a targeted or applied research question or problem leading to the Proof-of-Concept of an inventive idea
Check – the experiment will eliminate all mundane explanations
Candidates must meet each of the following criteria to be eligible:
1. Graduate of a Master’s or PhD program within five years of application date OR graduate student expecting to complete Master’s or PhD degree requirements within three months of submitting an application.
Check – Dr. Karumudi graduated in 2005 with a PhD
2. Not currently employed by the sponsoring Alberta-based company OR is currently employed by the sponsoring company but for less than 12 months.
Check – Dr. Karumudi is not employed by Levitee
List of References
- Roger Shawyer and the EM Drive
- Shawyer’s Primary Site – http://emdrive.com
- EmDrive on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EmDrive
- Recent Articles:
- Space ’08 Presentation has pictures and information about Shawyer’s superconducting cavity – http://www.slideshare.net/Stellvia/emdrive-presentation-at-space-08-conference-barbican-london-presentation/
- “John Whitmore: What next? Flying Saucers?” – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/environment/2753648/John-Whitmore-What-next-Flying-saucers.html
- “Chinese Say They’re Building ‘Impossible’ Space Drive” – http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/chinese-buildin.html
- Dr. Karumudi
- Assistant Professor, University of Alberta – http://www.ece.ualberta.ca/squealed/academic.php?fname=Rambabu&lname=Karumudi
- “ECE Welcomes New Faculty Member” – http://www.engineering.ualberta.ca/ece/news.cfm?story=57914
- “Top Grad Student Streamlines Microwave Design” – http://ring.uvic.ca/05jun09/features/rambabu.html
- Lorentz-Force Detuning
- “Lorentz Force Detuning Analysis of the Spallation Neutron Source Accelerating Cavities” – (PDF) http://conference.kek.jp/SRF2001/SA010.pdf
- “Lorentz Force Detuning Compensation System for Accelerating Field Gradients up to 35Mv/M” – (PDF) http://irfu.cea.fr/Phocea/file.php?class=std&&file=Doc/Care/care-conf-04-001.pdf
- Computer Simulation Technology – Microwave Studio – http://www.cst.com/Content/Products/MWS/Overview.aspx
- What an ION thruster is and thrust measurements – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Engine
Sherwood Park, Alberta
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University of Alberta
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