Start by picturing a section of magnetic levitation track, with a single armature segment sitting on the magnetic fields between them. The armature segment has permanent magnets along its outer edges which provide their part of the magnetic bearings which prevent mechanical contact between the armature and the stator's track. Along the centerline of the armature segment are a series of alternating polarity permanent magnets, whose fields are sensed by detectors within the stator track. Applying electrical power to coils within the stator aligned with the track centerline, polarity of the resulting magnetic fields are controlled to accelerate the armature segment down the track: electrical energy has been converted into the kinetic energy stored now by the relative speed between the armature segment and the stator track. Note that as the armature segment pushed forward, an equal and opposite force was applied backward by the track. After the armature segment has coasted down the track some distance, have it pass over some coils along the centerline of the track, which have resistive loads attached to them.: electric energy is induced in the track's coils by their alternating polarity of the permanent magnets in the centerline of the armature segment, and the segment slows some as the kinetic energy it stored is converted back into electrical energy. Momentum has exchanged at the same time, as the armature segment slowed, the track experienced an equal force in the direction the armature segment was moving. And as the armature segment continues down the track and encounters a curved area of the stator's track, the armature segment is thrust by the track in the direction of the curve, and the track experiences a similar but opposite direction thrust, in the direction to straighten the track's curve.
So these are the basic exchanges between the stator's track and the armature segment:
A. Electrical energy is converted into stored kinetic energy when the armature segment is accelerated by the appropriate phased magnetic fields generated by electric current flowing within coils in the stator track, relative to the permanent magnets on the armature segment.
B. Relative momentum is created between the track and the armature segment during the acceleration of the armature segment, equal and opposite between the two.
C. A radial force is exerted by the armature segment onto the stator track when the path of the track requires the armature segment's velocity to change from a straight line. If the stator track is in the shape of a circle, the armature segment will press outward all along the circular track, attempting to make the diameter of the circular track larger, an outward radial force.
D. And down the line somewhere else along the track, inductively absorbing energy from the armature segment generates electrical energy in the load attached to the inductive coils; and at the same time, momentum is transferred from the moving armature segment into the stator track, exerting a force in the same direction in which the armature segment is moving. If the armature segment is moving upward along a vertical part of the stator track, the momentum transfer will be in the upward direction, tending to lift upward the stator track there while the armature segment is being slowed by the electromagnetic drag.
Now, apply these principles to the configuration described as KESTS to GEO: a Kinetic Energy Supported Transportation Structure to Geosynchronous Earth Orbit. What fun!
By James E. D. Cline firstname.lastname@example.org Updated on 2000 03 29
Copyright © 2000 James Edward David Cline