Design and Testing of High Current, High Voltage, Hexapolar Flexible Cables for Pulsed Power Applications
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Under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and U. S. Army sponsorship, the Center for Electromechanics has designed and is constructing highly flexible, high current and voltage, magnetically compensated (hexapolar) cables and cable terminations as component interconnect buswork for a stand-alone, Compulsator-driven electromagnetic (EM) gun system. Flexible cables under development are rated at 300 kA peak current and peak voltage of 15 kV. Cable construction in this configuration provides several advantages; high flexibility, outstanding insulation integrity, ease in termination, and large conductor net cross sectional area (fig. 1). Standardized modular cable terminations are also being developed featuring compact construction, small footprint, a unique single-bolt (per polarity) high contact area/pressure electrical terminal, and electromagnetically self supporting high voltage insulated casing. The cable termination mates to a simply machined receptacle. Presented are cable and termination design criteria, cable parallel operation simulations and preliminary performance test data collected. A list of vendors capable of manufacturing the cables and terminations is also included.