Inertial Propulsion

An inertial propulsion system creates a linearly directed force, or thrust, by manipulating the forces and torques of point masses in an inertial system enclosed within the vehicle or platform. Thus, an inertial propulsion system does not expel exhaust gases or require external air flow to produce thrust or lift. After constructed three different test fixtures to try out some ideas, I finally did the math to compute the forces and torques during an entire revolution and now I understand what is happening, and what it will take to make it work.

It is common to see angular inertial propulsion systems that decrease or increase the radius of the point mass arcs in a small angular range during the 360 degrees of rotation. This small arc of changing radius is controlled to occur continuously at the same place within the 360 degree rotation in attempt to create a linear force on the rotating system (and thus a force on the platform the systems is attached to). However, experiments have shown these systems produce vibrations, but no useful linear force. The reason for this is because the angular inertial system is a conservative energy system. Any changes of the point mass radii results in a change of radial, tangential, and torque forces that tend to keep the energy of the system constant and cancel out any average linear forces on the system over the 360 degrees of rotation. Thus, such a system will produce vibrations, but no net average linear force.

The system I am proposing will add a non-conservative linear inertial system inside the angular inertial system. The point masses will be mounted at the end of fixed radius spokes of the rotating system and will be controlled to move linearly and perpendicular to the spokes, or tangential to the circumference of rotation. The linear motion of the point masses will be controlled to produce a non-conservative acceleration/deceleration movement against the spokes. This linear motion is similar that of a shock absorber where it allows undamped movement in one direction but movement in the opposite direction has a damping force and thus is a non-conservative energy system. The point masses will be controlled to accelerate quickly toward the spokes when the spokes reach a desired angle within the 360 degree rotation. This quick acceleration will create a linear force on the spokes and thus on the rotating system (very similar to how the ground acts against the torque of the drive wheels on a vehicle, ie. traction). Once the point masses are against the spokes, they are controlled to return to the extended position with a damped, or slow, acceleration in the opposite direction. This linear action could be realized by using piezoelectric “stick-slip” actuators. The small radial displacement of the point masses should create very little vibration. I will provide drawings and diagrams in the future to help readers visualize the new design concept.