GE Power Conversion has successfully completed stall trials of its new medium-voltage advanced linear induction machine (MV ALIM), a central part of the Electro Magnetic CATapult (EMCAT) launch track system.
The EMCAT has been designed to launch manned and unmanned aircraft from various naval platforms.
The MV ALIM will enable catapults to launch aircraft such as the latest Lockheed Martin-built F35-C aircraft, while the smaller versions (EMKIT) support launch of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from mobile or fixed installations.
GE Power Conversion Naval senior engineering leader Graham Bellamy said during the tests the MV ALIM produced more than 230kN of thrust.
"Thousands of launches have been proven previously on the smaller EMKIT variant, which allows aircraft weighing up to 11t at speeds of up to 50m per second to be launched," he said.
The new EMCAT MV ALIM provides launch options for various aircraft takeoff weight capacities, ranging from 50kg to more than 32t.
In order to maximise airframe drive life and utilisation of airframe capacity, the EMCAT system automatically compensates variations in airframe speed during launch, while minimising variation of thrust onto the airframe.
Featuring pulsed power supply, conversion and switching systems, the commercial off-the-shelf equipment has also helps reduce costs while increasing availability and technology readiness levels.
GE Power Conversion Naval director Mark Dannatt added: "This would include launch attachments, recovery systems and both fixed and mobile launch platforms, as well as integration into existing launch platforms.
"We are able to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all their UAS launch system requirements."
Image: GE Power Conversion’s medium-voltage advanced linear motor. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.