Compact Homopolar Generator Development at CEM-UT
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For electromagnetic launchers (EMLs) to become practical devices, they must evolve from laboratory test beds to field-portable systems. Such systems require the development of compact, lightweight, high-energy, high-current power supplies. Investigation of the candidate systems -- flux compressors, capacitors, inductors, batteries, and rotating machines -- showed the homopolar generator (HPG) to be a device with immediate potential for development. HPGs were selected because of their demonstrated ability to produce the high-energy, high-current electrical pulse required of an EML power supply from a relatively compact light-weight machine. By taking state-of-the-art HPG technology and integrating it with a machine designed specifically for high energy density, a field-portable HPG-powered EML system can be realized.