Florida company Undefined Technologies has had two successful flight tests and US$2 million in seed funding. The company has developed the next generation of its “silent” commercial drone, which uses ionic propulsion instead of propellers.
It has a large grid of electrodes with at least two layers, such that the top and bottom layers can be fed high and opposing voltages to accelerate ionized air downwards and produce thrust.
Undefined Technologies has claimed that its “novel Air Tantrum™ technology,” will be extremely quiet.
The company’s original concept vehicle flew for around 25 seconds, and made about 90 decibels, says company CEO Tomas Pibanic. The new prototype, he claims, has flown for around two and a half minutes, and was measured at 85 decibels. The ultimate target is around 70 decibels. It’s unclear how the company expects to continue reducing noise on a device that already has no moving parts in its propulsion system.
The flight seems to be quite stable. As far as the noise is concerned, there is a high-pitched voice that can be heard.
It will not be flying at high altitudes; as MIT’s Steven Barrett and other commentators have stated. Will the Silent Ventus be silent or energy-efficient enough to compete with regular multicopters? Time will tell.