BTE-Dan: If NASA or the ESA agreed to test your EmDrive, would you be willing to let them test it?
Roger: If either organisation showed a rigorous understanding of the theory, we would consider such a request.BTE-Dan: Do you have any plans to let independent testing labs test your EmDrive (besides the Chinese who have already tested it)?
Roger: Yes. Note that the Chinese University built and tested their own design, based on data that is in the public domain, and some advice in a couple of lectures I gave when I visited them.
BTE-Dan: Can you give any more information about any independent testing plans?
Roger: I’m sorry, but I cannot comment any further on these plans.
BTE-Dan: Can you talk about any new engines you are building? And are you ready to move past the prototyping phase?
Roger: We are an R&D company only.
BTE-Dan: If money was not an object, and a large engineering team was applied, how long do you think it would take to build an EmDrive suitable for large interplanetary spaceships?
Roger: A large first generation engine could be built and flight qualified within a 5 year schedule.
BTE-Dan: It’s said by some that since the EmDrive lacks many published papers and peer review that it should be viewed as unlikely to work given the amazing claims about it. Do you have any comment on this?
Roger: It is generally agreed that if two independent analyses come to the same conclusions, and two independent experimental programmes produce the same results, the conclusions are correct.
BTE-Dan: In general, what is your greatest frustration when it comes to transitioning the EmDrive to viable production engines?
Roger: My experience in the space industry shows that it is very conservative, which is understandable considering the costs and risks involved. However there is also a distinct reluctance to develop low cost new technologies, whilst the customers are willing to keep funding the present high cost solutions.
BTE-Dan: In your theory paper you describe how electromagnetic waves going in opposite directions in the EmDrive’s waveguide are traveling near the speed of light, and the waveguide shape causes an imbalance of beam velocities and radiation pressure at the two ends of the waveguide. From there you theorize that the end walls of the waveguide are in different frames of reference by invoking the theory of special relativity. This permits the EmDrive to form an open system and a net thrust is then allowed by the laws of physics. However, there are no equations to specifically prove the claim that the two ends of the waveguide are in difference frames of reference. Are you or anyone else you know of working on a mathematical proof to more directly show the EmDrive is an open system?Roger: The two ends of the waveguide are not in separate reference planes.It is simply that Special Relativity allows the EM wave and the waveguide to act as an open system. Otherwise accelerating the waveguide would alter the fixed value of c which is clearly not allowed! A laser gyro works in the same way.Note that accelerating the waveguide cavity does produce a Doppler shift in the EM wave, which leads to a loss in stored energy, thus complying with the conservation of energy.
BTE-Dan: You describe a 2nd generation of EmDrive which uses a superconducting microwave cavity where 1kW of input power is capable of lifting 3 tons of mass. Of course if this worked it would be mind blowing. When do you think a prototype of a 2nd generation EmDrive could be built given adequate funding of a development project?
Roger: A prototype 2G thruster, giving 3kN for 1kW microwave input could be available in 3 years. A large prototype 2G thruster giving 800kN [80 metric ton-force] for an 80kW input would take 6 years.
BTE-Dan: Okay, and finally, you must like your job. Any comments on that?
Roger: After a long and fascinating career in the space and defence business, I still regard engineering R&D as great fun.End of interview.
One final comment. I see my question about the two ends of the waveguide being in different frames of reference was rather silly. The end walls are physically connected within the same overall assembly, so that could not be. So it’s the waveguide and beam that he claims are in different reference frames. And after going back and checking, that is what his theory paper says too on page 5.