A Novel Eddy Current Brake Using Graded Conductivity and Wavenumber to Maximize Force

Period of Performance: 09/11/2008 - 03/11/2010


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

American Maglev Technology of Florida, I
109 Anderson Street Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Institution POC


American Maglev Technology, Inc. (AMT) is pleased present this Phase II proposal of the Navy s Advanced Eddy Current Braking Technology STTR to develop a replacement for the Navy s high maintenance water brake. During Phase I, AMT and the University of Texas CEM proposed a unique, passive, reliable, efficient eddy current brake to accomplish the same result as the water brake and fit in the existing allocated water brake spaces. A unique combination of material composition and permanent magnet (PM) size and spacing allowed for the peak force per unit length to be effective during the entire shuttle deceleration. Both were linearly graded over the length of the eddy current conducting spear while the PM magnets remained stationary. The geometry of the Eddy Brake is coaxial; hence it is magnetically self centering, which ensures a clean translation during deceleration. Ultimately, this design led to a total required braking distance of 11 feet, which fell short of the goal of 9 feet, but was well within the threshold of 15 feet. During Phase II of the project, AMT will continue to grow and explore the Eddy Current Braking model with its mechanical engineering research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, resulting in a proof-of-concept model and manufacture-ready drawings for a prototype brake. Further optimization will be performed on the model to taper the spear in order to decrease the total stopping distance and move closer to the goal of 9 feet. A detailed system dynamics model will also be produced. This model will successfully demonstrate the shock effects of braking on the eddy brake as well as the effects of braking on the ship. This model will also be used to demonstrate the thermal environment of the brake during the launch and recoil strokes, as well as assess the overall reliability of the braking system over multiple launches that are, and are not, within the given maximum end speed scenarios. AMT will also seek to use this phase to grow and diversify its team. AMT plans to conduct a peer review of its model using experts in the field, including CSA Engineering in Mountain View, Calif., in order to verify scientific principles and conduct a further detailed business case analysis for the eddy current brake.