By applying high voltage to an asymmetric capacitor, a thrust is created in the direction from the cathode to anode electrodes of the capacitor. Because of the high voltages, the anode ionizes the dielectric medium (air) and creates an “ion wind” by repelling the positively charged ions toward the cathode. This thrust is a result of the law of conservation of momentum. The application to this thrust has been observed in popular media as a levitating device (craft) but its full applications are still unknown and limited to lightweight crafts. In order to uncover its potential applications, this Honors Thesis built 47 lightweight crafts and tested them with an Ion Power Supply (GR8) that ranged its voltage from 20 kV to 30 kV. From the 47 crafts, the Quadrangle, Q2, which is a 30 x 30 cm2 square shaped craft, was the ideal craft. A variable payload measured to observe the relationship between the current supplied by the Power Supply and the weight of the craft.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-12-2015


Marco Ciocca

Department/Professional Affiliation

Physics and Astronomy

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


Physics and Astronomy