Saturday, June 9, 2007

Aren't Magnetic Things Attractive?

Some wicked technology was listed on popular science related in the field of power systems. This article was about a type of weapon called a rail gun. It uses linear induction machines to propel a 'smart' chunk of metal into a target. The speeds they estimate achieving are pretty amazing (Mach 7 plus) and the impact velocity would be about 5,000 ft/sec. This kind of weapon would not carry any explosives, rather the kinetic energy alone is enough. The projectile is essentially dead weight but it will have some adjustable surfaces so that it does have some satellite course correction capabilities.

The project if successful has a predicted completion date somewhere in 2015. The new weapon is an old concept but has been hindered in the past due to the extreme energy consumption. The next generation combat ship the DD(X) will be an all electric ship and divert power from drive systems to fire this giant.

Related - Another navy linear induction motor project called EMALS. (electromagnetic aircraft launch system)

Alas its time to work

Recently a friend and I have been deciding on a senior design project. We finally chose a wireless energy mod. Something that wows and involves some electrical engineering background.

The Goal - to build a wireless energy transfer mechanism using Nikola Tesla's method of electromagnetic radiation and fundamental power system principals.

Why? - It is a novel idea that can be completed in the duration of time we have. Wireless energy technology eliminates the need for having corded chargers and helps to allow devices to become waterproof. It involves real engineering design strategy with multiple design stages.

What? - We plan to build a set of AC/DC converters as well as a tuned air core transformer to transfer energy from one location to another.

How? - The device will be comprised of multiple stages. Parts will be made from wire wound components and off the shelf electronics.

1) AC-AC rectifier
2) AC-DC full bridge converter
3) DC 555 timer oscillator
4) Tuned Free air transformer
5) DC-DC converter (if necessary)