Electromagnetic Launching for Affordable Agile Access to Space

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-07-C-0037
Agency Tracking Number: F054-001-0353
Amount: $499,705.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
328A West Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne, FL, 32901
DUNS: 943748681
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rainer Meinke
 (321) 543-2561
Business Contact
 Gerrold Stelzer
Title: Vice President
Phone: (321) 728-7543
Email: gstelzer@magnetlab.com
Research Institution
 Robert Merrill
 150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL, 32901
 (312) 674-8043
 Nonprofit college or university
The conceptual design of a novel, hypersonic electromagnetic launch system has been developed. Phase-1 assumed a 100-kg projectile leaving the launcher at 7,000 m/sec. The projectile is propelled and levitated by electromagnetic forces inside a tube filled with low pressure helium. A controlled acceleration profile, fully adjustable to the requirements of various missions, is used to reach 5000 gees in a 500-meter long launch tube. A constant-flux synchronous motor concept, developed during Phase-1, is a breakthrough technology that provides contact-free propulsion and self-centering suspension with sufficient stiffness and thrust. Rapid spin introduced into the projectile prior to acceleration enhances trajectory stabilization. The use of high-current, persistent-mode superconducting coils in the projectile generates high thrust force with near-zero heat dissipation. No brushes or projectile power supplies are needed. The low-pressure helium atmosphere in the launcher reduces aerodynamic disturbances and aerothermal heating during acceleration. The system is highly scalable to various payloads and launch speeds for a wide range of applications from kinetic kill weapons to direct LEO insertion of small payloads. The enabling technologies of the system, the constant-flux synchronous motor and the high-current superconducting projectile coils, will be qualified in the proposed Phase 2.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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