The CEM-UT Rapid-Fire Compulsator Test Results and Performance Evaluation
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Since its inception in 1978, much attention has focused on compulsators as an alternative to capacitors and homopolar generators as a pulsed power supply. In addition to high voltage, high peak power, and large power densities, compulsators offer the advantage of supplying repetitive pulses without the need for external power conditioning. These repetitive power pulses are well suited for driving laser flashlamps, electromagnetic and electrothermal launchers, and particle beam accelerators. In April of 1986, fabrication and installation of a 1 megajoule (MJ) per pulse, rapid-fire compulsator was completed at the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT). A test program was initiated and, since then, a substantial volume of machine performance data has been collected. This paper presents the mechanical and electrical performance data of the compulsator. Included are measurements of rotor critical frequency and bearing performance. Also shown are open circuit voltage characteristics and current waveform characteristics during discharge into low impedance loads.