An answer to 'silent drones' - Ultra Micro Gas Turbines

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Message posted by Smythers (Member since 04/27/2023) on August 20, 2023 at 15:01:39 PST:

I asked permission before touching on this subject, and as I have found the required 'single public source', we can have at it.

Advances: Memory. Processors. Optical and EM sensors/communications. Lightweight composites. Control methods. All have increased their capacity/capability a thousand-fold.

Bottleneck: Energy density of batteries. Durability of batteries. Endurance of said batteries. Inability to power all required systems.

The bottleneck is bad, really bad. In today's battle fields, we require something that could give us a steady flow of power over a long duration, and then short spikes of high power before returning to idle.

So let us take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 1993 and a DoD/DARPA/MIT Water Cooler chat.

'We need a turbine that is no bigger than a 'D'-sized battery.'

DARPA: 'Hold our beer. We can go to coat button-sized.'

MIT: 'We shall make it so.'

Didn't happen. It wasn't because of lack of cash, it wasn't because of any lack of ability to create the concept. No, it was purely down to the inability to fabricate titanium and ceramic matrix at the required nano-scale.

But that did not stop them. Far from it.

Enter a certain company whom have extensive relations with their South Korean counterparts (Here is a black project hunting tip: Learn the intricate webs that stretch from companies in the US, to their foreign counterparts. Hunt out the names of researchers and finish at the academic laboratory level in their respective countries. You will be shocked at what is available to you via foreign research papers from academia!)

What was needed was a way to create novel materials with exotic structural details. Starting with ultra-high temp zirconium diboride (UHTC), sweeping through into a titanium throat, back into the ceramics and topped off by novel fan blades.

It took billions, and the exact way of creating ultra-sharp edges to the ceramics are still a tightly kept secret. But it works now. And it works well.

We now have an energy dense, reliable UMGT.

So why is this relevant to silent UAV or other unusual airframes? Quite simply that folks are not awar of just how small an actual powerplant can be, nor how effective it is at A) recharging powerbanks, and B) acting as the secondary propulsion unit for long duration flight.

In short: When you need to be silent and slow, batteries and fans. When you are further away and need to get out of dodge? Crank up the power and away you go.

This way you solve the silent and long duration all in one easy to fabricate solution.

Ultra Micro gas Turbines. It all started 30 years ago. Three decades. Think time stood still?

No, me neither. Now go hunt them down.



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