An ion propulsion cargo drone
Though it’s not been used for large-scale drone projects on Earth before, ionic propulsion isn’t a new technology. In fact, it’s currently one of the best technologies humans currently possess for deep space exploration propulsion and other space applications.
According to Undefined, its “Air Tantrum” ionic propulsion technology produces up to 150 percent more thrust than current ion thruster technologies.
Earlier this year, the company released footage of a two-and-a-half-minute indoor flight test, saying the drone emitted 85 decibels of noise. Now, it claims it’s flown a prototype for four and a half minutes, though it’s only released one minute, 17 seconds of footage. The drone firm also says it achieved a noise level below 75 dB.
It’s now aiming to secure further investment to build a zero-emissions cargo delivery drone by 2023 that could fly for 15 minutes and make less than 70 dB.
“This 4+ min flight required advances in the chemical composition of the batteries that can now provide us with higher energy densities,” Undefined’s Lead Aerospace Engineer, Thomas Benda Jr., explained in a press release. “This improvement is part of our efforts to target lighter weights.”