Magnetic Flux Compression Simulations Using ALEGRA

Report No. ARL-RP-384
Authors: Robert L. Doney; Peter Bartkowski
Date/Pages: July 2012; 18 pages
Abstract: Magnetic flux compression (MFC) generators are pulsed-power devices that take a small electrical current and amplify it by exploiting the conservation of magnetic flux. Essentially, an explosive is used to compress an initial magnetic flux into a smaller volume, increasing the output current. The primary benefits of these devices are (1) the reduction in stored electrical energy and (2) obtaining very large currents or magnetic fields. For example, a capacitor bank of 290 kJ can be replaced by an energy-equivalent MFC using only a small explosive weight and a 17-kJ capacitor bank for the seed current. A weight and volume savings of 75–90% can be achieved. The goal of this effort is to develop the numerical tools necessary to predict the performance of various designs, in order to reduce the number of experiments required. The hardware is destroyed during each test and is expensive to manufacture, making it difficult to perform parametric studies. This report investigates basic flux compression phenomena and inductance modeling. Additionally, we begin to explore flux compression performance improvements by simulating the effects of changing armature velocity and identifying magnetic energy distribution.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2012