General Atomics Begins EMALS Testing at New Facility

Jul 17, 2008

San Diego, CA. 17 July, 2008. General Atomics (GA) has begun long-term reliability testing of the full-scale power train of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) in its new 5,000 square foot high cycle test (HCT) facility at its Tupelo, Mississippi assembly plant. This test program will yield overall reduced technical risk, demonstrate EMALS system performance and meet contract specification requirements.

The purpose of this work is to more thoroughly test the EMALS system intended for installation on CVN-78.This effort focuses on determining those tests that would maximize technical and operational risk reduction to the EMALS program. Examples of tests include extended single power train testing, expanded tests of critical safety items and critical application items, as well as more expansion control system testing than originally planned on the SDD program.

The 5,000 square foot HCT facility has more than 4 megavolt amperes (MVA) available to provide power to a high-speed rotating energy storage system. More than 2 million BTU/hr of freshwater cooling can be controlled to represent the highest seawater temperatures that the EMALS equipment is designed for. Up to three multi-megawatt rectifiers and three electronic power inverters can be tested. The facility also can testa complete 12-foot EMALS linear motor module.

The HCT facility isnow testing the EMALS rotating energy storage systemby pulsing the system to simulate aircraft launches at a rate of over 250 launches per day.

“This testing will provide even greater assurance of the success of the EMALS system prior to installation on the CVN-78 carrier,” says General Atomics Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment (ALRE) program director, Susan Wojtowicz. The testing is conducted at a separate, dedicated facility adjacent to the GA Electromagnetic Systems Tupelo Manufacturing Facility (EMS TMF).

Per EMS TMF General Manager Pete Rinaldi “qualification testing is being conducted without impacting current linear induction motor manufacture and inverter assembly. We are currently completing 250 Megawatts (MW) of motor manufacture and associated motor inverter manufacturer. We plan on manufacturing 1,000 MW of motors in the next few years. In addition, during this same time period, we plan on manufacturing 1,500 MW of motor inverters. The test facility will enable ongoing and future qualification of high power electrical equipment without impact to our manufacturing operations.”

General Atomics, founded in 1955, specializes in diversified research, development, and manufacturing in defense, energy, and other advanced technologies. Affiliated manufacturing and commercial service companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of unmanned aerial systems.

For further information contact:

Carl Fisher
Director, Business Development
Advanced Technologies Group
(202) 496-8217

Doug Fouquet
Public Relations
(858) 455-2173

For photograph, contact:
Nancy Hitchcox
Marketing Communications Manager
Advanced Technologies Group
(858) 676-7161

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