Wooribyul and CircleWorks Co-Develop Thrusters That Use Electromagnetic Wave

Nov 24, 2017

Satellite thrusters that have 100 times better performance than thrusters from foreign research institutes have been developed through South Korean companies and they are drawing extreme amount of attention from related industries. Because this thruster uses electromagnetic wave, it can operate just through electricity from solar thermal energy and does not need separate fuel. Its characteristic is that it drastically increases lifespan of a satellite that is far longer than that of satellites with thrusters that are currently on market.
Although NASA and other countries such as China are developing thrusters that use electromagnetic wave in secret, it is heard that they have yet to reach a stage where they can commercialize such thrusters. It is expected that if these new thrusters are commercialized and applied to actual satellites, they will prepare a new turning point for South Korea’s aerospace industry that is behind that of advanced countries.
Wooribyul, which specializes in defense industry, and CircleWorks, which specializes in electronic derivative, announced on the 20th that they co-developed HEEMD (High Efficiency Electro Magnetic Driver) called ‘CircleWorks Driver (tentative name)’.
Satellite thrusters are part of booster engines that are used to finely correct or move location of satellites in space. Because current thrusters use high pressure gas fuel, satellites end up crushing when fuel that is injected is burnt out during a launch since it is impossible to correct their locations.
‘CircleWorks Driver’ is applied with a new technology that receives thrust through electromagnetic wave instead of high pressure gas fuel. Because electromagnetic wave can be produced from energy obtained through solar thermal energy, it does not need separate high pressure gas fuel. Because CircleWorks Driver can operate through electricity from solar power generator that is attached to satellites, it does not need a separate generator.

‘CircleWorks Driver’ that is co-developed by Wooribyul and CircleWorks.  It can operate as a booster engine as it can be attached to a satellite without any separate solid fuel. <‘CircleWorks Driver’ that is co-developed by Wooribyul and CircleWorks. It can operate as a booster engine as it can be attached to a satellite without any separate solid fuel.>

While lifespan of satellites that use current thrusters is only five years, satellites that use electromagnetic wave thrusters can operate three to four times longer. Because electromagnetic wave thrusters do not need separate fuel, they can reduce weight of satellites and they can also help satellites to operate in low orbits since they have strong thrust. If a country is able to lengthen lifespan of satellites and reduce weight of satellites in aerospace industries that require astronomical amount of cost and expenses, it will be able to gain enormous amount of competitive edge over other countries.
Although NASA and Chinese Government are working on development of HEEMD due to these advantages, it is heard that they have yet to have any satisfactory results.
In just a year of R&D, Wooribyul and CircleWorks developed an electromagnetic wave thruster that has 100 times better performance than the ones that are being developed by NASA and they believe that it is possible to commercialize its thruster even in its current state. Because it is possible to customize HEEMD according to purpose and types of satellites, Wooribyul and CircleWorks believe that its thruster can be applied to actual satellites in two to three years. CircleWorks Driver can be applied to high-resolution GPS satellites where correction and movement of location are important, reconnaissance satellites for militaries, and telecommunication satellites. If its performance is improved much more and is applied to a spaceship, it will be able to greatly reduce time that is needed to navigate through space.
“Because CircleWorks Driver is a new concept thruster that has greatly improved efficiency of a thruster through pure South Korean technologies and research, it can greatly increase lifespan of satellites if it is applied to national medium and long-term space development industry that is being pushed by South Korean Government.” said CEO Lee Jung-seok of Wooribyul. “It will contribute as a state-of-the-art technology for constructing aerospace industry base and expanding aerospace industry.”
Staff Reporter Seo, Dongkyu | dkseo@etnews.com

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