Creating a Multi-Stage Ionic Thruster

Inspired by a MIT's 2018 ionic thrust airplane, Jay of the Plasma Channel wanted to see if he could create a next-generation design for an ionic thruster. Ionic thrust, aka electrohydrodynamic thrust, is the result of ionic wind, which is basically airflow forming around a DC electric field. The MIT design was based on the well-established ionic lifter.

Jay wanted to know what the next generation of such thrust tech might be, so he created a multi-stage ionic thruster where the spacing between thrusters could be adjusted to see if that impacted the thrust dynamics. His preliminary results, with a simple device he put together, look very promising.

Come for the science, stay for the gorgeous plasma photos he takes towards the end.

Thumbnail: Screengrab, Plasma Channel.