Morgan Jones

MIT Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics

Undergraduate Institution: Trinity University

Faculty Mentor: Steven Barrett

Research Supervisor: Kieran Strobel

Website: LinkedIn

2018 Research Poster


My name is Morgan Jones. I am a third year majoring in Engineering Sciences with an emphasis in Mechanical Engineering at Trinity University. My current research interest is Fluid Dynamics, in Aeronautics, Industrial, and Environmental applications. I am excited to pursue a PhD in Aeronautics or Mechanical Engineering, and my future goal is to be able to collaborate with other researchers and professionals on large-scale research projects that can improve vehicle design and/or wind-energy systems. My hobbies include running, baseball, and classical rock music.

2018 Research Abstract

In-Atmospheric Electro-aerodynamic Propulsion

Morgan Jones1, Kieran Strobel2 and Steven Barrett3

1Department of Engineering Sciences, Trinity University

2, 3Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Electro-aerodynamic (EAD) thrust is a form of in-atmospheric propulsion that generates and accelerates ionized air using high voltage conductors. Previous work has shown that compared  to traditional jet engines and propellers, EAD thrusters are potentially viable sources of aircraft propulsion that require no moving parts, allowing them to be near-silent, and also require no on-board propellant. A previous key finding is that certain types of thruster designs for lightweight UAVs and aircraft may produces a significant amount of drag that can exceed the magnitude of thrust. This study aims to quantify both the drag and thrust of a single EAD thruster, for varying voltages and wind speeds using an open-jet wind tunnel and a high voltage power supply. From a previous theoretical study, it is expected that the thrust produced from both devices are independent of the wind speed, and the parasitic drag will have significant magnitude relative to the thrust. The study is ongoing and the validation of these predictions will provide insight for other possible thruster design for aircraft that may reduce overall drag.