IVO Ltd., a top-tier developer of wireless power technologies based in North Dakota, plans to debut their all-electric propulsion system for satellites in space this June. Dubbed the IVO Quantum Drive, the system is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during the Transporter 8 rideshare mission.
The primary objective of the mission is to conduct a successful demonstration of the satellite propulsion system in low Earth orbit (LEO), with the ultimate goal of commercializing the technology.
Founded in 2017, IVO has been dedicated to the development of Capacitive Based Aerial Transmission (CBAT), a wireless energy transmission technology. The CBAT technology, which uses wireless transmission, reduces battery size by up to 50%, facilitating new innovations.
In response to the space industry’s enormous carbon footprint, IVO developed a pure electric thrust system for spacecraft, which led to the creation of the IVO Quantum Drive. IVO claims that the system is the world’s first commercially viable and available pure electric propulsion technology to pass thermal vacuum testing.
The IVO Quantum Drive technology is more efficient than traditional rocket systems, according to IVO. It can generate up to 52 millinewtons (mN) of thrust from a single watt of electricity, and power is supplied through a combination of onboard power storage and solar energy.
Universe Today highlights that this technology is a significant improvement over Hall-Effect thrusters or ion engines.
Ion engines can produce between 25 and 250 mN of thrust but have a lower energy efficiency (65-80%) and require more power (usually between 1 and 7 kilowatts).
“Quantum Drive’s small size and big capabilities helps us develop incredibly efficient, lightweight, maneuverable, fuel independent and most importantly cost effective spacecraft,” Brent Abbott, chief business officer at Rogue Space Systems explained in a press statement.
Additionally, weighing in at approximately 300 grams, the IVO Quantum Drive is significantly lighter than the typical ion engine, which can weigh up to 200 kilograms.
IVO claims that its Quantum Drive technology eliminates the need for refueling or deorbiting due to fuel limitations, as it can draw “limitless power for propulsion from the sun.”
The Quantum Drive has already undergone successful testing in vacuum chambers on Earth and is now on the cusp of being launched into orbit. Once in space, the Quantum Drive will be installed on a Rogue Space Systems satellite for its first major space test.
“Deploying Quantum Drive into orbit in a Rogue satellite on SpaceX Transporter 8 is a milestone for the future of space propulsion,” added Richard Mansell, CEO of IVO Ltd. “Quantum Drive’s capability allows Rogue to produce new satellite vehicles with unlimited Delta V.”