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SBIR Phase I:Quantum Propulsion

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2303988
Agency Tracking Number: 2303988
Amount: $275,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SP
Solicitation Number: NSF 22-551
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-10-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-06-30
Small Business Information
6520 Graystone Meadow Circle
San Jose, CA 95120
United States
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Ankur Bhatt
 (408) 390-5293
Business Contact
 Ankur Bhatt
Phone: (408) 390-5293
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this SBIR project is to develop and commercialize a propellant-less electric vacuum thruster—a novel and cleaner method for object propulsion. This inventive thruster employs electronic components and sources to move objects, eliminating the need for traditional fuel.Successfully achieving these goals could potentially bring about a revolutionary transformation in the transportation industry. For example, a fully developed thruster could be used as a boost-on device for a wide range of current motors to increase efficiency (reduce energy consumption) while increasing range. Beyond developing the proposed thruster device into a usable product, this project also is expected to deepen the scientific understanding of its operational principles. All these enhancements hold the promise of enabling the device to move heavier objects with reduced energy consumption. Due to its suitability for use both on Earth and in space, a developed thruster product has the potential to improve the efficiency of all modes of transportation, including automobiles, boats, and spacecrafts._x000D_
This SBIR Phase I project proposes to develop and optimize the proposed electric thruster device, an exciting new way to move objects.Currently, objects and vehicles are moved using fuel-based propulsion technologies. This, coupled with the low efficiency of hydrocarbon and electric motor systems, is bad for the environment and not sustainable. This proposed product and technology platform presents a new type of cleaner propulsion technology.The proposed electric drive works by accelerating electrons between closely spaced electrodes in a capacitor using electric fields generated by a battery. The accelerated electrons form a Rindler horizon (Unruh Effect) behind the cathode of the capacitor which alter vacuum fluctuations within this zone. This modification creates a force that propels objects forward. The thruster device is expected to be cost-effective and lightweight, and initial experimental results appear promising. The project's goals are to (1) develop and improve a prototype using state-of-the-art materials and several design refinements, and (2) to confirm the technology's performance through third party validation. Demonstrating the thruster device's reliability and scalability is expected to provide a path to commercialization. Through development, optimization and validation, this project not only pushes the boundaries of propulsion through development of a usable product but also presents an exciting path as a platform technology with future potential for a wide range of practical, efficient, and environmental transportation solutions._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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