PRT 1/10th Scale Model Developed by the Aerospace Corporation in Los Angeles

During 1971 and 1972, the Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California, constructed and operated a scaled physical model facility to investigate the characteristics of its PRT integrated propulsion, control and switching concepts. This work is fully described in Appendix B of the book entitled Fundamentals of Personal Rapid Transit (full citation below). Included here is a brief description of this work, a diagram of the vehicle and three photos of the test track and vehicles. A short videotape that shows the three test vehicles in operation is available upon request from Professor Emeritus J. Schneider . It shows three vehicles performing a variety of maneuvers on the test track at the Aerospace Corporation.

The 1/10th scale model facility consisted of an oval guideway that measured 45' by 14' with a single siding and electromagnetic switches. Three scaled PRT vehicles (1' long), containing double-sided pulsed d.c. linear motors and an on-board control system were successfully operated on the guideway simultaneously. The guideway was sized to permit the demonstration of constant speed operation, slot slipping and slot-advancing maneuvers, merging, switching and emergency stopping. The nominal operating velocity for the scaled vehicles was 3 feet/second, representing a full-scale velocity of 30 feet/second. All of the key propulsion subsystem elements, such as the guideway magnets, motor primary shape and dimensions, and primary slot configuration and size were scaled to 1/10th full size.

A diagram and three photos are provided. The diagram describes the main components of the guideway and vehicle. The first photo shows a stationary vehicle undergoing motor tests on a track-simulator test fixture. The next two photos show the electronic switch installation and a view of two of the three vehicles operating on the guideway.

More details of this work can be found in Appendix B (8 pp), authored by C.L.Olson of the Aerospace Corporation in the book cited below. This book is now out-of-print but can be obtained from libraries that provide an interlibrary loan service.

Irving, Jack, Harry Bernstein, C.L. Olson and Jon Buyan, Fundamentals of Personal Rapid Transit, Lexington Books: D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1978, 332 pp.

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Last modified: April 18, 2004