IVO’S Quantum Drive Could Draw ‘Limitless Power’ From the Sun

IVO’S Quantum Drive Could Draw ‘Limitless Power’ From the Sun

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The US company IVO Ltd. is a wireless power technology firm that intends to send an all-electric propulsion system for satellites to space for the first time in October. If their plan works, IVO’s Quantum Drive will rewrite critical principles of physics that have been a cornerstone for the space industry since its inception.

The IVO Quantum Drive system was set to launch upon a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the rideshare mission Transporter 8 in June, but delays in developing the company’s prototype set the plans back and it will be launched atop the Transporter 9 later this year.

The company, founded in 2017, has been developing a pure electric thrust system for spacecraft in an attempt to tackle the space industry’s massive carbon footprint.

According to Interesting Engineering, their Quantum Drive builds on the idea of Quantized Inertia (QI) proposed by physicist Mike McCulloch, a professor at the University of Plymouth.

McCulloch devised his QI theory to explain the true nature of inertia through the properties of quantum mechanics. But some physicists criticized his proposal, saying it defies Newton’s laws of motion, which have been crucial to the space and rocket industry.

This has not deterred IVO, which built its Quantum Drive based on principles from McCulloch’s QI theory, and the company says it has managed to generate thrust in laboratory tests. In October we will supposedly see the first real-world test of the QI theory in space, which might cause a change in the way we see conventional physics.

In an interview with The Debrief, IVO founder and CEO Richard Mansell explained they had performed 100 hours of vacuum chamber testing during which their Quantum Drive consistently produced a small amount of thrust consistent with McCulloch’s QI theory.

“We got to the point where our third-party inspectors said, at this point, there’s nothing we can do to debug what you’re doing,” Mansell stated. “It’s just got to go to space. It’s really got to go to space.”

IVO’s belief is that its Quantum Drive could eventually produce up to 52 millinewtons (mN) of thrust from a single watt of electricity. The company said in a press statement it would draw “limitless power for propulsion from the Sun”, meaning it could remove the need for satellites to deorbit at all.

Some skeptics claim that the tests may amount to nothing, but they are undoubtedly worth pursuing since the payoff has a minuscule chance of changing the space industry forever.