Monday, May 28, 2012

Issues associated with a hypersonic maglev sled

(This image has nothing to do with the article below.  The one below discusses conventional rocket sleds that employ maglev technology, while the image above is a spacecraft launcher that is extremely hypothetical.  But hey, it looks cool.)

"Magnetic levitation has been explored for application from motors to transportation. All of these applications have been at velocities where the physics of the air or operating fluids are fairly well known. Application of Maglev to hypersonic velocities (Mach > 5) presents many opportunities, but also issues that require understanding and resolution. Use of Maglev to upgrade the High Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo New Mexico is an actual hypersonic application that provides the opportunity to improve test capabilities. However, there are several design issues that require investigation. This paper presents an overview of the application of Maglev to the test track and the issues associated with developing a hypersonic Maglev sled. The focus of this paper is to address the issues with the Maglev sled design, rather than the issues with the development of superconducting magnets of the sled system."


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