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Title: Final Progress Report for the NASA Inductrack Model Rocket Launcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Abstract

The Inductrack magnetic levitation system, developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was studied for its possible use for launching rockets. Under NASA sponsorship, a small model system was constructed at the Laboratory to pursue key technical aspects of this proposed application. The Inductrack is a passive magnetic levitation system employing special arrays of high-field permanent magnets (Halbach arrays) on the levitating cradle, moving above a ''track'' consisting of a close-packed array of shorted coils with which are interleaved with special drive coils. Halbach arrays produce a strong spatially periodic magnetic field on the front surface of the arrays, while canceling the field on their back surface. Relative motion between the Halbach arrays and the track coils induces currents in those coils. These currents levitate the cradle by interacting with the horizontal component of the magnetic field. Pulsed currents in the drive coils, synchronized with the motion of the carrier, interact with the vertical component of the magnetic field to provide acceleration forces. Motional stability, including resistance to both vertical and lateral aerodynamic forces, is provided by having Halbach arrays that interact with both the upper and the lower sides of the track coils. At present, a 7.8 meter trackmore » composed of drive and levitation coils has been built and the electronic drive circuitry performs as designed. A 9 kg cradle that carries the Halbach array of permanent magnets has been built. A mechanical launcher is nearly complete which will provide an initial cradle velocity of 9 m/s into the electronic drive section. We have found that the drag forces from the levitation coils were higher than in our original design. However, measurements of drag force at velocities less than 1 m/s are exactly as predicted by theory. Provided here are recommended design changes to improve the track's performance so that a final velocity of 40 m/s can be achieved with the existing track. This project was designed and built as part of a Phase II contract that started in Feb. 1999 and ended in Sep. 2000 at a cost of $600K. A detailed budget on how this funding was spent is also included here.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
15013556
Report Number(s):
UCRL-ID-144455
TRN: US200604%%63
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; ACCELERATION; AERODYNAMICS; DESIGN; LAUNCHING; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; LEVITATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; METERS; NASA; PERFORMANCE; PERMANENT MAGNETS; PROGRESS REPORT; ROCKETS; STABILITY; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Tung, L S, Post, R F, and Martinez-Frias, J. Final Progress Report for the NASA Inductrack Model Rocket Launcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/15013556.
Tung, L S, Post, R F, & Martinez-Frias, J. Final Progress Report for the NASA Inductrack Model Rocket Launcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. United States. doi:10.2172/15013556.
Tung, L S, Post, R F, and Martinez-Frias, J. Wed . "Final Progress Report for the NASA Inductrack Model Rocket Launcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory". United States. doi:10.2172/15013556. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/15013556.
@article{osti_15013556,
title = {Final Progress Report for the NASA Inductrack Model Rocket Launcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory},
author = {Tung, L S and Post, R F and Martinez-Frias, J},
abstractNote = {The Inductrack magnetic levitation system, developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was studied for its possible use for launching rockets. Under NASA sponsorship, a small model system was constructed at the Laboratory to pursue key technical aspects of this proposed application. The Inductrack is a passive magnetic levitation system employing special arrays of high-field permanent magnets (Halbach arrays) on the levitating cradle, moving above a ''track'' consisting of a close-packed array of shorted coils with which are interleaved with special drive coils. Halbach arrays produce a strong spatially periodic magnetic field on the front surface of the arrays, while canceling the field on their back surface. Relative motion between the Halbach arrays and the track coils induces currents in those coils. These currents levitate the cradle by interacting with the horizontal component of the magnetic field. Pulsed currents in the drive coils, synchronized with the motion of the carrier, interact with the vertical component of the magnetic field to provide acceleration forces. Motional stability, including resistance to both vertical and lateral aerodynamic forces, is provided by having Halbach arrays that interact with both the upper and the lower sides of the track coils. At present, a 7.8 meter track composed of drive and levitation coils has been built and the electronic drive circuitry performs as designed. A 9 kg cradle that carries the Halbach array of permanent magnets has been built. A mechanical launcher is nearly complete which will provide an initial cradle velocity of 9 m/s into the electronic drive section. We have found that the drag forces from the levitation coils were higher than in our original design. However, measurements of drag force at velocities less than 1 m/s are exactly as predicted by theory. Provided here are recommended design changes to improve the track's performance so that a final velocity of 40 m/s can be achieved with the existing track. This project was designed and built as part of a Phase II contract that started in Feb. 1999 and ended in Sep. 2000 at a cost of $600K. A detailed budget on how this funding was spent is also included here.},
doi = {10.2172/15013556},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {6}
}

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