What is Propulsion systems: Definition and 20 Discussions

Propulsion is the action or process of pushing or pulling to drive an object forward. The term is derived from two Latin words: pro, meaning before or forward; and pellere, meaning to drive.
A propulsion system consists of a source of mechanical power, and a propulsor (means of converting this power into propulsive force).
A technological system uses an engine or motor as the power source (commonly called a powerplant), and wheels and axles, propellers, or a propulsive nozzle to generate the force. Components such as clutches or gearboxes may be needed to connect the motor to axles, wheels, or propellers.
Biological propulsion systems use an animal's muscles as the power source, and limbs such as wings, fins or legs as the propulsors.
A technological/biological system may use human, or trained animal, muscular work to power a mechanical device.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. Erik1801

    Realistic fast Interstellar Propulsion Methods

    This is my first time posting, so please excuse any mistakes. I am grasping at straws here. I am working on a Hard-Sci Fi novel, plot, arcs, characters etc. are all worked out and i decided to take the deep dive in terms of Realism. For instance, there are no Fusion reactors. All that is...
  2. Limebat

    Need help on model HHO propulsion systems

    Hey all, Lime here. I've been getting into HHO for a while, and I think I almost have my DIY generator up and running (waiting on eBay 18650 batteries). I was thinking a fun little project is to play around with a few concepts with my new found combustion source. Anybody here know a good way to...
  3. M

    Is ablative laser propulsion a better option than Ion engines?

    I’m trying to find something that can replace Ion engines in my Star Wars story. Ablative laser propulsion seems like a good bet because it works in both atmosphere and a vacuum and just seems better than Ion engines.
  4. X

    SpaceX Supersonic electric propulsion systems for airliners

    Tesla+SpaceX= supersonic VTOL suborbital electric jet? “I have an idea for a vertical takeoff and landing supersonic jet.” — Elon Musk, every time the subject of electric planes comes up, to include almost never using the VTOL abbreviation for some reason that’s probably very unimportant. —...
  5. M

    NASA Which of these methods is the best bet for space propulsion?

    1.) Ion drive 2.) Black hole starship 3.) Fusion Rocket 4.) Fission sail https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fission_... 5.) Halo drive https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.03423 6.) Horizon drive https://www.tsijournals.com/articles/pro... 7.) Pitch drive, Diametric drive, Disjunction drive...
  6. M

    Which of these methods of propulsion is “best” for future spaceflight?

    Summary: Which of these hypothetical propulsion methods is the best for a spacecraft during Interplanetary flight? Let’s just assume all at this point are cost-effective at the time. Consider the •Safety of the engine •The speed •The efficiency 1.) Monoatomic hydrogen propulsion 2.)...
  7. X

    Fusion aerospace propulsion systems for the near future

    Let’s ditch chemical fuel (even like scramjet, aero spike and SABRE) and venture to the future, for only thus we can become a multiplanetary species, and establish a true interplanetary/interstellar transit system. For atmospheric ascent: 1.Fusion reactor (thermal power)+Thermal ramjet...
  8. anorlunda

    Remarkable New Marine Propulsion Systems

    I recently came back from a cruise on MS Eurodam. The ship was equipped with two 17.6 MW Azipod propulsion systems. The captain explained a bit about them in a Q&A session, and I researched a bit more because I'm curious as an engineer. I'm sharing it here on PF for the benefit of other...
  9. H

    Enqiry about an electrical motor's power

    Any clue to to show that it is 10kW? Please tell me where i went wrong and thank you. I tried and i just couldn't figure it out.
  10. T

    Understanding Expansion Fans and Reflected Waves in Propulsion Systems

    "For simplicity, let us assume the flow turns around a corner downstream of the throat, where the Mach number is M0 > 1, to an angle θ1, and let us indicate just three of an infinite number of waves making up the "expansion fan". Since the centerline is an axis of symmetry, the waves must...
  11. Solomei

    Is the TR-3B Patent Legitimate?

    Hey, is this patent legit? Does anyone know anything more about this? The information I can found about the 'TR-3B' are from non reliable / verifiable sources << Unreliable Source Deleted by Mentors >>
  12. O

    Good books on propulsion systems?

    Any recommendations for books on Propulsion Systems that arent $100+?
  13. T

    Exploring the Feasibility of Road Downhill Propulsion Systems

    Having recently taken up road downhilling, I want to investigate the feasibility of producing a personal, wearable thrust driven propulsion system. Doesn't have to be terribly powerful, controllability should be via twistgrip maybe. I'm drawing pictures of an ergonomically-designed frame which...
  14. Q

    What sort of degree is best for working on propulsion systems?

    Hello I am currently an aerospace engineer at university and was beginning to wonder whether it was the best idea to be an AE engineer. The curriculum involves courses on propulsion systems and the different methods as well as other courses about the actual structure of aircraft and...
  15. S

    Thrust to Power Ratios for Modern Propulsion Systems

    Does anybody know some ballpark figures for thrust to power, Newtons per watt, ratios for modern propulsion systems, mechanical drive train ie cars trucks, propeller driven craft, boats planes, and rockets. I've found one reference that states the F/P ratio for a DC-9 jet engine is 0.016 N /...
  16. Z

    Electromagnetic propulsion systems

    Currently working on a pet project, looking to build a model for accelerating a relatively large mass on a short straight track type system. Can't find much information about the way "Maglev" trains accomplish their propulsion or the way the electromagnet systems work to keep the train...
  17. R

    Interstellar propulsion systems

    Ever since I saw stephen hawkings universe doc's, I've been wondering about one creative scenario he presented. surround our sun with solar energy satellites. Draw and store the energy in the satellites. satellites fire this energy in beams (synchronized) into one satellite which then...
  18. W

    Which is Better: Single Engine w/5 Gears or 5 Engines w/'Fixed' Propulsion?

    A single Engine with five gears, or five separate Engines with 'fixed' propulsion's, as opposed to transitional gearings? A rocket leaving Earth has 'boosters', once it is orbiting it uses propulsion systems that are more compact and have a weight-to-ratio output more efficient than Earthbound...
  19. D

    SCR Propulsion Systems: Electric Motor & Towboat Power

    Anybody know anything about SCR...can an electric motor power a towboat with batteries and back up generator power say 1800 hp.
  20. L

    Candidates for near-future nuclear propulsion systems

    Times are changing, what with the renewing of space exploration. Humanity should be un-arse-ing itself and moving towards our celestial neighbours. But we will only go to them, if we harness a better power souce. That, my friends, is good old nuclear propulsion. And yet, there are so many...