Ion Thruster

by eLab_Hackerspace, published

Ion Thruster by eLab_Hackerspace Sep 26, 2015


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6832Views 1098Downloads Found in Physics & Astronomy


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Way cool!

Might create a plexiglass box you can cover the project in so little curious fingers don't get too close to that HV

Either way awesome project!

Yes that's a good idea! Thanks.

Hello! Great modeling by the way... I was wondering what the lowest most safe voltage I could use for this but still have a interesting effect is. I would rather not get injured or someone else get injured because of it... (:

That's hard to say. Honestly you can never really guarantee safety when working with high voltage, so you must always be careful! We haven't tried with different voltages or currents, but I think you might start seeing something after a few kilovolts. What you can try to do to make it safer is use the least amount of current as possible. Our transformer had 50mA which is really dangerous at high voltages like this, but if you could reduce it to a few milli amps, maybe less than 10mA would be safer. But I don't know if it will work. And still, is safer but not SAFE. Other thing you could try is using a variac to slowly increase the voltage gradually like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a18t6eqD7hA
But the best advice we can give you is to not try this at home if you're not used to working with high voltage.

Does anyone know if this were to be operated in a vacuum would you have to add gas at one end to get a force to be exerted on the engine?

Ion engines work great in vacuums. They are used in space quite often. Here is a good link that explains them.


That is correct, as it is explained on our blog post, in space you need to insert a noble gas like Xenon.

hello it looks like the link is not working?

We were still writing the article. But it's ready now :P