Tomas Pribanic, a Ph.D. candidate and seasoned engineer, has found a way to apply an ionic thrust to autonomous vehicles in Earth’s atmosphere; testing is underway
MIAMI, 22 March 2021. Undefined Technologies, a Miami-based startup, has found a way to apply an ionic thrust to autonomous vehicles in Earth’s atmosphere. Now, Tomas Pribanic, a Ph.D. candidate and seasoned engineer, is in the final testing stages of achieving the first mission flight of a craft using this technology.
“Three years ago, I accepted that technical challenge to create ionic thrusters for drones that could be viable for atmospheric conditions on Earth and other planet’s atmospheres,” says Pribanic, who has worked for some of the largest aerospace companies and currently is working towards his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering.
It took Pribanic several years of research to investigate the physics behind ion propulsion. Finally, he discovered the break-thru which enables this technology to be used not only in the vacuum of space, free from the powerful gravitational pull, but also in atmospheric conditions with ‘unprecedented’ levels of thrust, 3X more compared to existing discoveries.
Last year, Pribanic formed a partnership between Undefined Technologies, his venture capital-backed startup, and the University of Miami. The National Science Foundation has evaluated the technology and is currently in the final stages of review for additional funding to create a silent vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft to be used in urban areas where noise limits requirements are too stringent for existing cargo drones.
Pribanic is eager to disrupt the urban cargo delivery market and use drones for various supply chain activities, including delivering everything from online shopping packages and groceries to vital medicines and COVID-19 test kits.
The AirTantrum™ technology is projected to generate noise levels below 70 decibels, which would fall under the threshold established by a number of county noise ordinances. Ionic propulsion is entirely electric and produces zero-carbon emissions. The process uses a high-voltage electric field to ionize the air molecules in the atmosphere; the air molecules naturally return to their original state after ionization.
According to the recent drone market report, the global drone market will grow to more than $42 billion by 2025. Remote work, telehealth, and automated delivery services are just a few examples of technologies that have gotten a boost as people began limiting social interactions and personal trips.
Last year, major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to commercially operate drones and launched pilot drone delivery programs in urban areas. Also, package carriers FedEx, UPS, and Wing, a division of Google owner Alphabet, received FAA certificates for drone delivery.
Undefined Technologies, in partnership with the University of Miami, is developing a silent cargo drone powered by ion propulsion which is aimed to disrupt urban cargo delivery. The novel Air Tantrum technology creates a technical and commercial opportunity for ion thrusters to become a viable electric propulsion option. This technology is projected to generate noise below 70 decibels, which would fall under the threshold established by a number of county noise ordinances. Undefined Technologies is exploring the possibility of using drones for various supply chain activities, including delivering everything from online shopping packages and groceries to vital medicines and COVID-19 test kits. Learn more: https://www.undefinedtechnologies.com/
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