Design and Optimization of a Magnetic Wheel for Hull Climbing
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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A magnetic wheel was designed, optimized, prototyped, and tested for use on the Multi-segmented Magnetic Robot MSM project. The wheel provides magnetic attraction force to ferrous surfaces, allowing the robot to climb ship hulls. This capability could be used to meet the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance needs of Navy visit, board, search, and seizure VBSS, Navy SEALs, and Marine Force Reconnaissance teams. Two different magnetic wheel designs, the flux-plate wheel and conformal wheel, were evaluated to select the most promising design for use on the MSM robot. The flux-plate wheel was the clear winner, providing over four times as much attraction force as a similarly sized conformal wheel. An optimization study of the flux-plate wheel showed that increasing the thickness of the flux-plate and the number of magnets in the wheel provided a greater increase in the attraction force than the varying of other design parameters. An optimized wheel was designed using measured results, simulated results, manufacturing, and design considerations. The optimized wheel was 1-inch thick, had a 4-inch outer diameter OD, 36 0.25-inch OD by 1-inch long N52 Neodymium magnets, and 0.125-inch thick fluxplates. The wheel weighed 1.22 pounds and provided an attractive force of 21 lbf.
- Marine Engineering
- Electricity and Magnetism