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Analysis of the performance of a combined coil-rail launcher

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4 Author(s)
Barmada, S. ; Dipt. di Sistemi Elettrici e Automazione, Univ. of Pisa, Italy ; Musolino, A. ; Raugi, M. ; Rizzo, R.

An electromagnetic system that operates both as a rail and as a coil launcher is proposed, and its performance is analyzed. The device has a composite stator that consists of two rails properly slotted in order to allow the presence of a system of coils. The armature consists of a conductive slab sliding between the rails. Another system of slots is present in the armature where a system of short-circuited coils is placed. A source of constant voltage is connected to the rails and the current flowing in the armature through the sliding contacts produces a thrust force on it. If a proper system of currents able to produce a traveling wave of flux density in the region between the rails is used to feed the barrels, the induced currents that flow in the armature's short-circuited coils produce a further thrust force on the armature itself. The analysis of the behavior of this launcher is performed via a computer code based on an integral formulation and a tool that analyzes the phenomena related to the velocity skin effect; the interactions between the two systems of currents on the armature and the currents on the stator (rails and barrels) are investigated. The thermal behavior of the device has been taken into account by a simple adiabatic model since the short operating time allows one to neglect heat diffusion in the conductive parts of the system. A comparison between the velocities, respectively obtained by separately feeding rails and coils and the system with the combined feeding, has been performed. Preliminary results of the analysis show that this device, because of the presence of two systems of thrust forces acting on the armature, can be successfully used in the acceleration of heavy masses at relatively high velocities, the maximum achievable speed being limited by thermal and mechanical stresses.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 1 )