Urban Maglev

Urban Maglev is a new transportation solution aimed at meeting urgent needs for faster, cleaner means of passenger transport in local communities and urban areas. Urban Maglev is based on the “passive maglev” technology developed over the past decade by General Atomics (GA), with a combination of federal transit and GA company funding. GA has built the first full-scale working maglev system in the U.S., which operates on a 400-foot test track at GA’s main campus in San Diego. For the past several years, GA has been involved in a collaborative effort with the California University of Pennsylvania (CUP) to study the feasibility of building a 4.5-mile system linking the two campuses of the CUP. GA has also studied the possibility of building Urban Maglev systems on the campus of the University of California, San Diego, Disneyland, and other locations.


Permanent Magnets

Magnet blocks

  • Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB)
  • Divided into subassemblies
  • Loaded into the magnet modules

Chassis Assembly

  • Magnet modules are then mounted to the chassis supports

No active power system on vehicle - only permanent magnets

  • Lighter, cheaper, more efficient vehicle design
  • Allows use of guideway tracks that are lighter, cheaper, and less intrusive

Halbach Array magnet configuration adds to benefits

  • Increased magnetic field strength
  • Very low magnetic fields in passenger compartments and near stations (well below allowable standards)
  • Larger air-gap enables less expensive guideway construction

Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM)

  • Means of providing forward propulsion in most maglev systems
  • Basic technologies have been used in operational transportation systems

Guideway Modules

  • Linear Synchronous Motor
  • Levitation Track
  • High Speed Turns (144 km/hr, 90 mph)
  • 800 meter minimum turn radius
  • 11.5 Cant Angle
  • Future Concept: Hybrid Guideway Girder
  • Steel Fiber Reinforce Concrete (SFRC)
  • In early stages of development