Saturday, May 25, 2024

Florida startup completes test flight of its silent ion propulsion drone

A Florida-based startup, Undefined Technologies, announced that its eVTOL ion propulsion drone, Silent Ventus, has successfully completed a critical test flight hitting its projected flight time and lifting power, marking this a major milestone for the emerging dual-use cargo delivery drone.

During the 4.5-minute flight, the prototype aircraft demonstrated its flight performance beyond reaching steady-state conditions – with higher efficiency power delivery systems and noise levels below 75 dB. This all-electric drone powered by ion propulsions uses innovative physics principles to generate noise levels below 70 dB.

Undefined Technologies aims to achieve flights of 15-minute of duration with noise levels below 70 dB by the end of 2023, overcoming noise restrictions for the last-mile cargo delivery sector. The core element of the aircraft is the so-called “Ion Booster,” which generates the ion cloud to yield higher levels of thrust, up to 150% compared to current ion thruster technologies. The boost of thrust generated by the innovative technology creates a technical and commercial opportunity for ion thrusters to become a viable option for electric propulsion.

“This 4+ min flight required advances in the chemical composition of the batteries that can now provide us with higher energy densities. This improvement is part of our efforts to target lighter weights,” adds Thomas Benda Jr., Lead Aerospace Engineer at Undefined Technologies.

The company has already demonstrated having the infrastructure and the talent to bring the eVTOL craft into commercialization for civil and military applications. The aim is to develop a production-ready serial drone in 2024. After receiving strong interest from Federal and Commercial entities, Undefined Technologies is posed to start new funding round.