The Department of Defense has awarded a $5 million grant to Georgia Tech and other partners for research into making electromagnetic propulsion more practical.

Researchers at NC State are also part of the project, as are teams from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The 10 faculty members include those focused on tribology (the study of friction, wear and lubrication in surfaces in motion), physics, materials science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

So-called maglev (magnetic levitation) is not new, but the search continues for how to make the technology of producing propulsion through electricity and magnetism more practical, Tech says.

The project will study the effects created by very high electromagnetic stress, including heat and wear, on electromagnetic launchers. The US Navy, for example, hopes to use the results of the research to develop electromagnetic “rail guns” for use aboard warships. These guns can fire rounds at higher speeds and over longer distances.

Tech researchers say the research could also help develop electromagnetic launchers and vehicles.

Georgia Tech: