Watch out, battery-powered MAVs -- your viability could be seriously in danger. Based on a patent application from University of Florida aerospace engineer Subrata Roy, he's reckoning that a micro air vehicle could be propelled by plasma. Scientists have known that passing a current or magnetic field through a conducting fluid generates a force, but exploiting it for use in moving an aircraft has proven futile thus far. The phenomenon, simply known as magnetohydrodynamics, has typically been tested on larger crafts, but Mr. Roy's invention would boast a wingspan of less than 15-centimeters and resemble a flying saucer more so than a 747. Of course, this fantastic idea has yet to become much more than just that, but for armed forces and entities obsessed with surveillance, this could undoubtedly be big.

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Engineer aims to create plasma-powered micro air vehicle