General Atomics is developing Urban Maglev technology sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration and funded under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The system is levitated, propelled, and guided by electromagnetic forces. Levitation is achieved by using simple, passive permanent magnets arranged in a “Halbach” array configuration. Propulsion, and guidance are achieved by a linear synchronous motor mounted on the track. The uniqueness of the approach is its simplicity, ruggedness, and performance, including 10% grade, 18.3 m (60 ft.) turn radius, one-inch levitation gap, and quiet operation. Use of elevated guideways, coupled with the quiet operation of the system, eliminates the need to tunnel underground for noise-abatement, and can result in significantly lower system costs. We have built full-scale hardware to demonstrate the levitation, propulsion, guidance, and location detection systems. We are currently building a 120 m (400 ft.) test track with a full-scale chassis and power system at General Atomics in San Diego, CA. The chassis and power systems have already been built and are under-going initial testing. The track will be completed for dynamic testing in 2004. This paper reports on the overall program progress to date and description of the planned testing.

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