December 27, 2016
Hi, This is a new copy of a post made previously on Reddit. It seems The Black Vault is the best place for such an FOIA request, which deals with a propellantless thruster known as the EmDrive, that has been studied by Boeing/USAF but never made public.
In 2007, Boeing approached British engineer Roger Shawyer to get a license of the EmDrive technology. The UK Department of Trade and Industry granted SPR Ltd an ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) export licence to Boeing in the US:
In December 2008, Shawyer was invited to The Pentagon to make a presentation on the EmDrive, then Boeing confirmed they wanted to test the thruster. The UK Ministry of Defence agreed to a technology transfer, and SPR designed, built and tested a Flight Thruster for use on a test satellite. According to Shawyer, the 10-month contract was completed by July 2010 and the Flight Thruster data, giving 18 grams of thrust, transferred to Boeing.
NB: At this point it is not clear if the prototype itself has been physically transferred to the United States, or plans and data to build a similar one. Seems to be the later.
Afterwards, SPR never received a licence agreement and communication with Boeing stopped:
- Mary-Ann Russon (14 October 2016). ("EmDrive exclusive: Roger Shawyer confirms MoD and DoD interested in controversial space propulsion tech". International Business Times.
The recipient address for the ITAR export licence is Boeing's Huntington Beach site, which is "a premier design and development center for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Phantom Works, the Boeing advanced research-and-development unit. That makes this location the place where people reach for the stars and design systems to get there."
However, no details of Boeing's Flight Thruster have ever been made public.
Questioned on that matter in 2012, a Boeing representative confirmed Boeing Phantom Works used to explore exotic forms of space propulsion including Shawyer's drive some years ago, but such work has since ceased, stating that "Phantom Works is not working with Mr. Shawyer,” and adding that the company is no longer pursuing this avenue:
- Hambling, David (5 November 2012). "Propellentless Space Propulsion Research Continues". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
While it is true private businesses are not subject to FOIA requests, the end user of UK Department of Trade and Industry ITAR export license from SPR Ltd was specified to be "the armed forces" of United States. The military branch of The Boeing Company (Boeing Phantom Works or Boeing Integrated Defense Systems) was in contract with the US Air Force for that project. USAF is part of the federal armed forces of the United States, its HQ is The Pentagon, dependent of the DoD.
So it appears an FOIA request should be asked to the Department of Defense of the federal government of the United States of America, regarding the RF resonant cavity thruster data licensed from SPR Ltd "EmDrive" through The Boeing Company and tested by the US Air Force, for the timeframe between 2007 and 2016.
Will a US citizen will exercise our right to know this data? This could give some closure to the ongoing concerns as to wether or not Boeing has continued testing the EmDrive.
PS: NASA Eagleworks laboratory at JSC now conducts similar research as well as China CAST space agency.