Ion-propelled drone successfully tested in 4.5 minutes

Florida-based startup Undefined Technologies said it has taken a major step forward in developing unmanned aerial vehicles, which it believes drives drones by using a quieter, more powerful ion propulsion system instead of rotors. Human and machine, can change the entire booming drone service industry.

Produced by Undefined Technologies, which passed a testing milestone this month, its drone using an ion propulsion system successfully flew for 4.5 minutes, emitting only 75 decibels of noise during the flight . The trial marks a further step forward in the company's development of the system, allowing it to fly longer than its predecessors while reducing noise levels.

Undefined Technologies' original proof-of-concept vehicle last year flew for just 25 seconds while making 90 decibels of noise. This month's trials bring the company closer to the goal of its ion propulsion program of 15 minutes of drone flight at just 70 decibels of noise, about the same noise level as the DJI Mavic , but taking into account Undefined Technologies' Drones are larger and designed to carry heavier payloads.

Tomas Pribanic, CEO of Undefined Technologies, said they have struggled over the past year to overcome many technical challenges related to the drone's cooling system, battery life, avionics and noise reduction.

The ion propulsion system works by forcing charged particles or ions through pairs of electrodes, creating an electric wind that propels the aircraft to fly. Previously used in spacecraft, the technology produced more powerful and longer-lasting energy than chemical fuels due to the enhanced effect of the surrounding vacuum.

Undefined says its "silent" 70-decibel drones will cause far fewer noise complaints in urban cargo delivery services than the propeller designs, and they aim to have a series of drones ready for delivery by 2024.

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