Research and Preliminary Engineering
Space Vehicle Program
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Copyrighted © by The Townsend Brown family. All rights reserved.
SUBJECT: Research and Preliminary Engineering for Space Vehicle Program
This proposal recommends a long-range coordinated program for the research
and preliminary engineering leading to the construction of prototype space
The proposal stresses the importance of research on gravitation and on the
relationships between electrodynamics and gravitation. It calls attention
to certain possibilities inherent in such a program of development.
The program would be divided and conducted in steps, as follows:
SCOPE OF INTEREST
The program anticipates the use of electric methods of
propulsion and control, and specifically excludes the consideration of jet
or rocket propulsion devices, per se, except as a means for generating the
required high electrical potential. Emphasis is placed on studies of the
physical relationships between electrodynamics and gravitation leading to
the development of methods of electrogravitic propulsion and steering control.
(b) Navigational and Flight Control Instruments
Problems of space navigation are to be examined, particularly
with the view of applying electrogravitic principles in the design of flight
instruments to indicate:
1. Gravitational Vector (insensitive to acceleration),
2. Acceleration (insensitive to gravity),
3. Gravitational Gradient (insensitive to acceleration),
4. Gravitational Potential of Space,
5. Electrical Potential of Space,
6. Space Speed (absolute ether drift).
(c) Communication and Remote Control Systems
Applications of electrogravitic induction to communications
and remote control are to be developed. Use of gravitational radiation is
Basic tests with electrically-shielded capacitors and
massive high-K dielectrics are proposed. Methods are to extended into full-scale
communication systems. Such systems, while similar to electromagnetic (radio)
systems may be found to offer many advantages - such as higher penetrability,
elimination, elimination of "shaded" areas, higher velocity of wave propagation
and a wholly new spectrum of channels.
(d) Materials of Construction
Continuation of the research of the late Charles Francis
Brush on the "non-equivalence of mass and weight" is recommended (see appendix).
Further confirmation of the Brush findings may be provided by the existence
of gravitational isotopes, as distinguished from mass isotopes. Procedures
for isolating gravitational isotopes in common aircraft metals, with the
object of creating super-light alloys.
Methods of beneficiation are suggested for enriching the
content of lighter gravitational isotopes in common aircraft metals, with
the object of creating super-light alloys.
The spontaneous evolution of heat, observed by Brush and Harrington,
appears to be one of the characteristics of lighter gravitational
isotopes, and may serve as a tracer in the steps of beneficiation. Studies
are proposed to determine the source of the energy and to investigate
possible uses of said heat.
This program is to include a study of the rare earth metals and their
alloys, and also the metal tantalum, regarded as potential aircraft
materials. In nature, most of the rare earth metals (and tantalum) indicate
mean values of specific gravity having large negative anomalies, and this
property makes them interesting as probable rich sources of gravitational
isotopes required in the manufacture of super-light materials of
PROGRAM OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Group A - ELECTRODYNAMIC-GRAVITATIONAL FIELD RELATIONSHIPS
: Generation of quasi-gravitation by electrical means, quantitative
measurements and derivation of equations.
One of the basic relationships between the electrodynamic
field and the gravitational field appears to be revealed "during the process
of charging or discharging electric capacitors".
Confirming experiments are proposed in which two or more
large high-voltage capacitors are associated spatially with a short-period
geophysical gravimeter. Careful observations are to be made of the momentary
gravitational anomalies induced in the region which accompany the change
in electrical state. Studies are proposed of the effects of varying total
capacitance, rate-of-change of electric charge, mass of dielectric materials,
specific inductive capacity of said materials and whether the effects are
vector or scalar. These investigations shall be directed toward the derivation
of a satisfactory mathematical expression including all of the above factors.
Group B - PROPAGATION OF GRAVITATIONAL WAVES
: Transmission and reception of electro-gravitational waves
for purposes of communication and remote control.
Preliminary experiments have indicated the existence of an inductive
inter-action between two independent shielded capacitors. In these experiments, a discharging
capacitor induces a voltage in an adjacent capacitor, and the effect appears to penetrate
electromagnetic shielding. Theoretically, this effect of one capacitor upon another appears to be
electrogravitic in nature and constitutes evidence of a new type of wave
propagation. It is believed that this form of inductive transmission may
eventually be utilized in a completely new method of wireless
It is proposed that progressively larger-scale and longer-range
transmissions be conducted. Beginning with untuned systems, laboratory tests are proposed to
explore the basic electrogravitic relationships between simple systems of capacitors. Then,
progressing to tuned systems, and pulsed (radar) applications, large-scale
out-of-door demonstrations are suggested. Such demonstrations shall be
conducted between suitably protected transmitting and receiving vaults
(preferably underground) which are thoroughly shielded against
electromagnetic radiation. Appropriate studies of wave attenuation due to
transmission through large masses of earth may then be undertaken. Similar
studies of wave attenuation in sea water are also prosed. These studies
are to be supported by fundamental research on the nature of
electrogravitic induction (See appendix for outline).
Group C - PONDEROMOTIVE FORCES IN SOLID DIELECTRICS
: Isolation and measurement of electrogravitic forces in solid dielectrics.
Investigations conducted by Biefeld and Brown point to the existence of a
hitherto unrecognized ponderomotive force in all ferroelectrics under changing electric stress.
This force appears to be a function of the specific inductive capacitance and the mass of the
dielectric material, as well as high voltage and current factors. Recent availability of the massive
barium titanate (high-K) dielectrics and other dielectrics of this class give promise of developing
these forces to the point where they may become of practical importance in specific propulsion
A survey of dielectric materials revealing this effect is proposed. Beginning
with a critical analysis, using the Townsend Brown Differential Electrometer (an instrument
developed at the Naval Research Laboratory and at the University of Pennsylvania), studies are
proposed of the forces developed in mica, glass, marble, phenolics and dielectrics in general and
then, in particular, the newer ceramic dielectrics. This work is to be augmented by basic
determinations of the Biefeld-Brown effect in
vacuum. (See appendix).
It is proposed that, after suitably active materials are selected, scale models
of other rotary and linear "motors" be constructed and tested. With the necessary engineering data
then at hand, a motor to weigh approximately 500 lbs. may be constructed to propel a model ship.
This is proposed as a practical demonstration of one of the forms of electrogravitic drive.
Ether drift and space-couple observations, including specifically a
repetition of the classic Trouton-Noble experiment (but using massive dielectrics) are suggested
as being of interest not only for their contribution to basic knowledge of the nature of space but as
bearing upon the principle of operation of space speed indicators (See appendix).
Low temperature experiments in physics of the solid state (using the
liquid-helium cryostat) are highly recommended but are expensive. These experiments, however,
may be so designed as to provide answers to many questions relative to the fundamental nature of
gravitation. They are to embrace such subjects as the "Anomalous Mass of the Electron in
Metals" and the "Behavior of Super-Cooled Dielectrics".
The availability of the liquid-helium cryostat would enable the project to
engage continuously in low-temperature work which could contribute enormously to our
knowledge of solid state physics.
Group D - REACTIVE FORCES IN FLUID DIELECTRICS
: Development of high speed electrokinetic propulsive systems for
Studies of boundary forces (where electrodes are in contact with fluid
dielectrics) reveal the existence of a "complex" of inter-acting forces, some of which are purely
electrostatic, some electromagnetic and some which could be electrogravitic. The tentative theory
electrogravitic forces to be present whenever a mass of dielectric material is charged and moving,
and to increase in proportion to the volume of the fluid which is charged and moved. Hence, it is,
in a sense, the juxtaposition of the elements of the static form of the capacitor described in Group
C experiments, and provides what may be described as an electrokinetic propulsive system, with
direct applications to high speed aircraft and spacecraft.
It is proposed that electrically-charged circular airfoils be mathematically
analyzed and improved. Starting with 2 ft. discs at 50 KV, the steps of the development should
include 4 ft. discs at 150 KV and a 10 ft. disc at 500 KV. Careful measurements are to be made of
both static and dynamic thrust. Studies are also proposed wherein the discs
are adapted for vertical lift (levitation) as well as for horizontal
thrust and this feature may be incorporated in the design of the 10 ft.
It is proposed that studies likewise be made of various methods for
obtaining the required high voltages, and these studies should include the development and
evaluation of the capacitor voltage multiplier and the "flame-jet" electrostatic generator to provide
up to 15 million volts (See appendix).
This work is to be augmented by the engineering studies on the relative
efficiency of propulsion of electrified discs in air at reduced pressure or in vacuum and at various
Group E - "THE SPONTANEOUS GENERATION OF HEAT IN CERTAIN COMPLEX
SILICATES, LAVAS AND CLAYS.
: To establish the existence of the positive effects observed by Brush and
Harrington, determine the origin of the energy represented and extend the observations into the
rare earth /and other/ elements.
The discovery by Charles Francis Brush of an unexplained heating effect in
certain materials is strikingly reminiscent of the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel
which led to the isolation of radium by the Curies. Recent studies have indicated a certain
the radioactive elements and the rare earth elements, revealing the possibility of a spontaneous
release of energy (in this instance in the form of heat alone) by the rare earth elements.
Thus, the newly discovered "thermoactivity" may bear the same
relationship with the rare earth elements as "radioactivity" bears with the radioactive elements. In
all probability the source of the energy represented in thermoactivity will be found in the complex
unstable electronic shells of the rare earth atoms, and not in the nuclei as in radioactivity.
The anomalous gravitational properties of the rare earth elements and their
wide-spread but tenuous occurrence in nature point to other parallels with the radioactive
elements such as decay of activity and critical limits of mass.
1. Conduct an organized examination of materials (complex silicates, lavas,
and clays) known to exhibit spontaneous heating.
2. Conduct a field search for additional materials.
3. Attempt to isolate and purify materials showing spontaneous heating.
4. Extend the examinations into the rare earth metals and tantalum.
5. Conduct mathematical and theoretical studies of gravitational isotopes as distinguished from
6. Study the mechanism of spontaneous heat generation and the decay of the effect.
7. Study the effects of ionization, electric and magnetic fields upon the effect.
8. Study methods of beneficiation of materials for intensification of the heating effect.
Group F - NAVIGATIONAL AND FLIGHT CONTROL INSTRUMENTS
1. Gravitational Vector (stable vertical)
2. Accelerometer (inertial gradient)
3. Gravitational Gradient (gravity)
: Engineering development and design, adaptation for operation in conjunction
with servo mechanisms for actuating flight control devices.
The physical principles underlying the operation of these instruments have
evolved from the findings of C. F. Brush (see appendix - references). Quite recently, careful
studies of the records of the Brush experiments have been made. The conclusions, while still
highly controversial, leave no doubt that the Brush concept, if supported, can provide answers to
many difficult and, as yet unsolved, problems in navigational and flight control
The Brush findings may be expressed simply:
"the ratio of mass to weight is not the same for all kinds of matter,
as has been supposed, and the mass-weight ratio is not constant even in the
same kind of matter".
Based on the hypothesis of the non-equivalence of mass and weight, the
principles of three instruments have evolved as follows:
1. Gravitational vector (stable vertical)
Two equal (inertial) masses of unequal weight are utilized in a balanced
pivoted device. Such a device may be said to be inertially symmetrical and gravitationally
asymmetrical. The pivoted system will orient itself to the vector of gravity and yet remain
insensitive to the inertial
effects of acceleration and centrifugal force.
2. Accelerometer (inertial gradient)
Two unequal (inertial) masses of equal weight disposed in a pivoted device
as above, but with spiral spring (or the like) tending to restore the movable system to zero
position. The pivoted element responds quantitatively to inertial effects of acceleration and
but is insensitive to gravity.
3. Gravitational Gradient (gravity)
Such an instrument is the reverse of the accelerometer above and
structurally resembles the gravitational vector indicator except that it includes a spring which is
adjusted to restore the indication to zero in the absence of a gravitational field. The movable
element responds quantitatively to gravity (g) only and is completely insensitive to all inertial
effects such as acceleration or centrifugal force.
It is proposed that operating models of the three types of instruments be
constructed and tested on a centrifugal carriage. Materials for the dipoles of the pivoted systems
are to be selected from benificiated gravitational isotopes (both light and heavy) developed under
Group E. These
prototype instruments are to be adaptable for operation in conjunction with telemetric circuits or
servo mechanisms for actuating flight control devices.
Space Program Proposal Flow Chart
(a) Laboraory facilities
To be supplied directly by the parent company or its subsidiaries.
Members of the regular research and engineering staff of the parent
company and its subsidiaries, with services of such technical or operational consultants as may be
To be awarded only when it is impractical or uneconomical to perform
the work with company facilities.
CONDENSED SCHEDULE AND ESTIMATED COST
- October through December (3 months only)
T. Townsend Brown
Washington D. C.
December 1, 1955
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