Rotating Machine Development at The University of Texas
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The Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) is specialized in the development of high power, pulsed rotating machines for a variety of applications including fusion experiments, directed energy devices, and electrothermal and electromagnetic accelerators. For many of these applications, compulsators have emerged as viable power supplies. These machines are low impedance alternators which use flux compression to shape the discharge pulse and increase peak power and, to date, have been constructed from ferromagnetic materials. In the past several years, tremendous gains in energy and power densities have been predicted based on the use of composite materials. Glass, graphite, boron and Kevlar reinforced epoxy systems have the advantage of superior strength and stiffness, and are much lighter when compared to their metal counterparts. Two major efforts in which composite based (air-core) compulsators are being developed are now coming to fruition. Additionally, conceptual designs of several advanced concepts covering a wide range of pulse lengths and applications have been performed. The purpose of this paper is to report on the status of the machines currently being fabricated and describe the next generation of high performance compulsators.