Imagine an all-electric drone with zero emissions and no noise.
It could venture anywhere — practically undetected — and be used for a variety of applications from search and rescue to military operations.
That vision is now here, and it runs on ion propulsion.
Last month, a Florida-based tech startup called Undefined Technologies unveiled the new aesthetic design of its silent eVTOL drone, called Silent Ventus, which is powered by ion propulsion, according to a press release by the firm.
A sustainable and less noisy urban environment
“Silent Ventus is a vivid example of our intent of creating a sustainable, progressive, and less-noisy urban environment,” said Tomas Pribanic, Founder and CEO of Undefined Technologies, in the statement. “The design brings us closer to our final product and enables us to showcase the dual-use of our technology.”
The concept vehicle uses proprietary technology to fully activate the ion cloud surrounding the craft. This allows the drone to generate high levels of ion thrust in atmospheric air, and take flight in near-silence.
A major milestone for all-electric drones
Development of the drone has been ongoing for a while now. In December of 2021, the drone completed a major milestone. It undertook a 2-minute and 30-second mission flight, where its performance, flight dynamics, endurance, and noise levels were tested.
The engineers leading the tests reported that the craft’s flight time extended five-fold from the previous version and generated noise levels of less than 85 decibels. Pribanic said at the time that the drone was one step closer to market.
According to Undefined Technologies' website, the drone today "uses innovative physics principles to generate noise levels below 70 dB." This would make it ideal for use throughout the U.S., where acceptable noise levels for residential, industrial, and commercial zones range from 50 to 70 dB.
In comparison, the majority of drones produce noises in the vicinity of 85 to 96 dB. Time will tell whether the new "silent" drones will inaugurate a new age of whispering drones that take no toll on the surrounding environment, toiling away in peace.