Sensor Developments for Compulsator-Driven Railgun Systems
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As the technologies of rotating power supplies and thyristor switches advance, new methods of measuring various signals must be developed. The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM) has developed new methods to measure compulsator position and speed and has made advancements in health monitoring of the thyristor switches. Technological advancements in machine design have enabled dramatic increases in machine speeds, which in turn increase electromagnetic interference. It is essential to a successful operation to have a method (reliable within this harsh environment) of measuring speed and sensing rotor position to generate gate signals for thyristor switch modules. As the modules switch larger amounts of current and voltage, it is correspondingly important to monitor the switching process, so that any damage to the system caused by a fault condition can be minimized. This paper describes sensors developed at UT-CEM to monitor speed, sense rotor position, and detect fault conditions.