Electromagnetic Launching for Affordable Agile Access to Space
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The project aims at developing a reliable and responsive electromagnetic launch system. In the proposed concept, a magnetically levitated sled is accelerated to a velocity of 7 km/sec by a high power linear motor system for the launch of samll payloads. A novel design of electromagnetic guide system with real-time feedback stabilizes the trajectory of the sled during acceleration. The launch object and the sled are aerodynamically and aero-thermally optimized to cope with the large aerodynamic disturbance forces and the heating at the high velocities towards the end of the guideway. The sled will operate in a helium atmosphere at reduced pressure to reduce the Mach number of the sled. Strong superconducting magnets on the sled enable a 2 inch clearance between the sled and the guideway, as well as between the sled and the linear motor rails. Augmentation coil actuators along the track will be used to provide the required stabilization forces. During Phase 1, a concept study will be performed and a the performance of the system will be modeled and optimized. During Phase 2 a test rig will be built, which allows to measure the aerodynamic and aero-thermal effects at the high speeds under various ambient atmospheres.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Advanced Magnet Lab, Inc.
328 West Hibiscus Blvd Melbourne, FL 32901
Number of Employees:
FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Robert A. Merrill
Nonprofit college or university