Marc T. Thompson and Richard D. Thornton

"Modeling of HTSC-Based Iron Core Flux-Canceling Electrodynamic Suspension for Maglev"

Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Magnetic Suspension Technology
NASA Conference Publication, 1997


The design and analysis of a new iron-core "flux-canceling" magnetic suspension suitable for high-temperature superconductors (HTSC) is described. A 1/5-scale model of this suspension has been designed and tested with a high-speed rotating wheel test facility. A new low-cost multiple-loop guideway has been tested and lift, drag, and guidance forces have been measured at operating speeds approaching that of a full-scale train. These results are compared to predictions based on simple circuit models, with good results.

A vertical control system has been designed and tested to improve ride quality through differential control of the magnet currents. The test fixture has also been used to validate the concept of lift generation at zero train velocity by AC excitation of the main magnet coils. Scaling laws have been applied to the results and predictions made for a full-scale HTSC suspension operating at 40K. Further work in this area may help overcome one of the fundamental limitations of electrodynamic (EDS) Maglev --- the fact that there is zero levitation force at zero train velocity and a low speed suspension is needed.

Contact Information:

Marc T. Thompson, Ph.D.
Engineering Consultant
Adjunct Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
25 Commonwealth Road, Watertown MA  02472
Phone: (617) 923-1392
Business website: 

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Page created: July 20, 1998.  Last modified: August 6, 1998