Turbine Drives for Compulsators
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Effective integration of compact, air-core, compensated pulsed alternators (compulsators) into mobile platforms will likely require a lightweight, high-power turbine to motor the compulsator rotor. Self-motoring compulsators using high energy density batteries are an alternative, but peak power constraints may limit rep-rate in many applications. The U.S. Army 9 MJ Range Gun , a turbine driven compulsator railgun system scheduled for initial testing in 1992, has provided the first opportunity to understand and address the issues involved with turbine drives for pulsed rotating machines. This paper discusses comprehensive packaging issues of motoring a compulsator with a turbine drive. Control system design is modified from conventional control approaches and tailored to the specific needs of the compulsator. A hybrid open loop/closed loop approach for controlling the speed of an inertial load with low bearing losses is presented. Powertrain installation and operation issues are also discussed. Design modifications to the recommended mounting system to provide a lightweight mounting structure and satisfy alignment requirements are reviewed. Drivetrain protection from high torque transients of a pulsed power discharge with a slip clutch is described. Other aspects of packaging including material selection of mounting components, air filtration and turbine accessories are covered.