April 28, 2008

EMALS Coming to an Aircraft Carrier Near You

Following developments of the Gerald R Ford class of aircraft carriers, Kato Engineering has tested their first motor generator required to drive the electromagnetic catapaults that will be fitted to the new Gerald R Ford class. 12 will be required in total for each Gerald R Ford class aircraft carrier. The motor is huge, and can deliver 60 MEGA-joules of energy or 60 MEGA-watts. Here is the original article:

The first full-size test motor generator for the Navy’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) has been assembled and finished factory acceptance testing April 11. This motor generator is one part of the electromagnetic aircraft launch system for the Navy’s new class of aircraft carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class. The Navy is building the next generation of electromagnetic launch technology to replace the existing steam catapults used on current generation Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

The motor generator is part of a suite of equipment called the Energy Storage Subsystem. Included in this equipment suite is the motor generator, the generator control tower and the stored energy exciter power supply. Twelve of each are required for the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Five of each are currently being manufactured under the Systems Development & Demonstration contract with General Atomics, one for component level testing and four will be installed and used for system level testing at the Lakehurst, N.J., EMALS catapult site.

The recent testing, which lasted approximately 30 days, was done at the manufacturer, Kato Engineering in Mankato, Minn.

"The successful completion of the First Article Testing on the EMALS motor generator is a significant step in getting EMALS to the Fleet,” said Capt. Randy Mahr, program manager of PMA-251, Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Programs. “The General Atomics and Navy teams have worked closely together in reaching this milestone."

The motor generator is a huge piece of equipment: 13 ½ feet long, almost 11 feet wide and almost seven feet tall. Weighing in at more than 80,000 pounds, the motor generator is capable of delivering up to 60 megajoules of electricity and 60 megawatts at its peak. That much electricity could power more than 12,000 homes for three seconds -- the time it takes to launch an aircraft off a carrier.

No comments: