General Atomics (GA) is a pioneer in the research and development of innovative permanent magnets and linear motors to create clean, fast and efficient transportation solutions. GA's passive maglev system uses permanent magnetics on vehicles and linear synchronous motors on guideways to levitate and propel vehicles. Maglev systems do not require electric motors, engines, or fuel, and have no moving parts on the vehicle. The result is a clean, light-weight vehicle design that eliminates engine and wheel noise, and harmful emissions. By using permanent magnets for levitation, any requirement for overhead powerlines or electric third rails is eliminated, helping improve safety and environmental aesthetics.
GA was the first in the United States to build a full scale working maglev system, which operates on a 400-foot test track in San Diego, California. GA's Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) provides design, prototyping and manufacturing capabilities for the Maglev system permanent magnets and linear motors. GA-EMS manufacturing offers the depth of experience and sophisticated machining, winding, milling, assembly, and test equipment for the production of these highly specialized components.
(Click images below for a description.)
This system is intended for fast, clean urban and local community passenger transportation. In collaboration with California University of Pennsylvania (CUP), GA completed a feasibility study to build a 4.5 mile Urban Maglev system to link two CUP campuses together. GA also studied the possibility of building systems for use at other facilities, including the campus of the University of California, San Diego and Disneyland. With uninterrupted high speeds, Urban Maglev could transport the amount of people equivalent to an eight to ten lane freeway at a fraction of the cost.
Electromagnetic Cargo Conveyer (ECCO)
This concept offers the possibility to provide a cleaner, more efficient means for Ports to move container goods. In a study commissioned by the Port of Los Angeles, California, GA and its industry academic team verified the feasibility of building an ECCO system capable of moving more than 5,000 containers per day in a five mile corridor between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the intermodal facilities in-between.
High Speed Maglev
GA developed a concept for a long distance passenger transportation system, with initial studies covering the feasibility of building a maglev system from Anaheim, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. As a member of the American Magline Group and as part of a public-private partnership, GA participated in the task to secure cooperative agreements or resolutions and statements of support from all of the cities and regional planning organizations in every jurisdiction along the route. GA would be a provider of the power and propulsion technology.
This concept calls for retrofitting conventional steel-wheel rail lines with maglev technology to remove the need for on-board engines or any active on-board propulsion. In a teaming agreement with Innovative Transportation Systems Corp, GA investigated development of MagneRail system customization for a variety of applications, including movement of goods, commuter rail trains and light rail systems, and street cars.
This concept utilizes linear synchronous motors (LSM) embedded in road surfaces to move large, heavy-duty trucks within specially designated traffic lanes. By combining LSM technology with other forms of propulsion, this concept has the potential for dual mode operations, enabling switching from maglev to conventional fuel sources (electric batteries, diesel) as the need arises.