NASA scientists have announced the successful testing of an electromagnetic propulsion drive (EM Drive), a device that could turn the concept of warp drive – faster-than-light travel – into a possibility.
Called the impossible engine, the ‘EmDrive’, which has been suggested as the mechanism that could one day transport humans to Mars in a mere 10 weeks, has reportedly got an upgrade. The new version of the engine has been recently patented by its inventor, Roger Shawyer.
The EmDrive creates thrust by making microwaves bounce around in an enclosed chamber with only solar power. As per reports, a superconducting plate has been included in the upgraded machine to make its thrust more powerful. The upgraded EmDrive has one flat superconducting plate and one unique non conducting plate on each side of the thruster respectively.
The superconducting plate will lower the chances of internal Doppler shift, which is basically the change in wavelength or frequency of a wave for an observer in relative motion to its source. As a result, not only does the drive become even more powerful but the manufacturing costs can also be kept low due to the flat shape of the plate.
It was subsequently published by NextBigFuture, and describes how early tests of the system in a vacuum, recreating the conditions of the engine if it were used in space.