Navy tests new carrier launch system

March 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., March 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's new launch system for carrier-based aircraft has demonstrated its generator-sharing capabilities for multiple catapults.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, replacing the steam catapult system on aircraft carriers, has six subsystems that work together and share components to power the four catapults on the ship but earlier tests only involved the use of one launcher.

The latest demonstration at Joint Base McGuire-Dix at Lakehurst, N.J., involved four launchers

"As EMALS successfully completes another test phase, I am confident we are providing the fleet with a reliable and efficient system that will revolutionize the way we launch aircraft from the Navy's newest class of carriers," said Capt. Jim Donnelly, who is in charge of the EMALS program.

With EMALS, the aircraft is attached to a shuttle and propelled down the length of a catapult track by an electromagnetic field produced by linear motors. The motor generator stores the system's energy in the inertia of its rotor and releases that energy upon initiation of the aircraft launch.

The newest ground-based test involved simulated generator-sharing for multiple catapults by weighted sleds.

"It is important that we ensure proper sharing and operation of the generators at the land-based facility prior to testing the full four-catapult system onboard CVN 78, reducing risk to the ship," said George Sulich, EMALS integrated team lead.

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