Maglev train simulation hits the tracks

A maglev train simulation has been carried out by LMS and KIMM (Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials).

The team at KIMM used LMS Virtual.Lab to create a highly realistic simulation that could handle mission critical factors like guideway specification costs as well as simulating the contact-less interaction between the vehicle and the flexible guideway.

In the early project stages, Dr Hyungsuk Han, senior researcher, and his team at KIMM conducted a significant amount of research to evaluate and improve existing maglev performance. To do this, Dr Han and his team used LMS Virtual.Lab to help develop a simulated maglev model.

‘The fact that maglev simulation requires contact-less interaction between the vehicle and the flexible guideway was the primary challenge. We considered other solutions, but concluded that only LMS Virtual.Lab Motion permitted us to successfully simulate the crucial interaction between the vehicle’s electromagnets and the guideway – an extremely complicated procedure,’ according to Dr Han.

To validate the world’s first maglev simulation, KIMM used LMS Test.Lab to confirm the accuracy of the calculations against the actual maglev prototype model, the UTM2. KIMM engineers measured the dynamic responses like the Frequency Response Function (FRF) of the secondary suspension and mission-critical electromagnet control system of the actual maglev prototype and used this information to crosscheck the simulation model’s accuracy.

Thanks to the success of the simulated urban maglev using the LMS Virtual.Lab platform and the validation of the simulated results with LMS Test.Lab, KIMM gave the green light to launch the first official Korean maglev in April 2008.

‘LMS Virtual.Lab was the only simulation solution that allowed us to create the most realistic simulation possible,’ concluded Dr Han. ‘The fact that the model could handle a mission critical factor like guideway specification costs really made a difference. Since the guideway structure is expected to take between 60 and 80 per cent of the current $450m budget, it is essential that the simulation study covered the economic side of the project as well. This contributed to the successful launch of the Korean maglev.’

Korea’s €285m urban maglev program kicked off in 2006. KIMM, the government-run science and technology research institute, is responsible for maglev development and system integration. The project has already reached its launch stage in just two years thanks to a team totalling more than 300 researchers and engineers from 26 industrial, academic and research institutes. If all goes according to plan, the Korean maglev train will go into commercial service in 2013.

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