NRL Superconducting Magnet Sets World Record


6/30/1998 - 48-98r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541


The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Materials Science and Technology Division announced today that it had successfully tested a high temperature superconducting (HTS) electromagnet producing a magnet field of 7.25 Tesla. Breaking a previous world record announced in Japan in October 1997, the magnet will be used by NRL for solid state physics research and the development of Navy applications of HTS. The technology developed for this magnet is required for the Navy's continuing electric propulsion and magnetic minesweeping programs.

Dr. Donald Gubser, superintendent of NRL's Materials Science and Technology Division, said, "This achievement marks the enormous progress underway in the development of HTS technology for Navy applications and the high temperature superconductivity field in general. Producing a stable magnetic field of such unprecedented strength is more technically complex (material, coil construction, stress) than what will be required to evolve commercial scale HTS prototypes for electric power applications. The manufacture of this record-setting HTS electromagnet is a significant precursor to the development of systems for multiple Navy requirements, such as propulsion motors and power systems, over the next ten years."

American Superconductor Corporation produced the HTS electromagnet under a U.S. Navy contract for installation at NRL. It was constructed from HTS wire manufactured at American Superconductor. The magnet is the latest deliverable in a series of contracts from the U.S. Navy to American Superconductor for the development of HTS materials and devices. In December 1997, NRL announced the test of a homopolar motor producing 320 HP, the highest power ever produced by an HTS motor. American Superconductor is also presently developing coils for magnetic minesweeping systems as part of its continuing Department of Navy programs.

"American Superconductor is proud to be able to bring this leading edge technology from the laboratory to specific Navy missions, " stated Greg Yurek, president and CEO of American Superconductor. "This performance level in an HTS electromagnet demonstrates that HTS technology has advanced to the point where commercial and defense applications are achievable in the relatively near term."



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About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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