The SR2S team has finalised the structural design of the most promising configuration for the magnet researched by SR2S: the pumpkin configuration. The name of this configuration comes from the shape of the magnetic field generated by the superconductor, it is similar to a pumpkin.
It is a non-axial toroidal configuration and consists of a multi-toroid system placed around the habitat. The toroidal magnets have the same composition and a similar, scaled, mechanical structure of the barrel toroid configuration studied in the first period of the project.
The structural design of “Pumpkin Configuration” implemented by CGS is focused on two main structural components:
- the three coils toroidal structure is composed of four coil assemblies which are also composed of three superconductive coils each. The main scope of this structure is to limit the deformation of the superconductive cable preventing failure of the magnet
- the main structure that supports the four coils assembly structures. The main goal of this component is to support the coils without failing or transmitting loads to the habitat
The great highlight of this preliminary study is the mass reduction of this new configuration compared to the barrel toroid configuration, studied in the first phase of the project. The mass has a great role in this study, not only for the limit of the payload mass (in the future, new propulsion systems would allow the launch of very large payloads into space), but in particular because of the secondary fluxes (radiation produced by the collision of cosmic rays with other materials) and the passive shielding of this mass could drastically reduce the active shielding capability of the magnet.
Considering the mass budget, the highest mass of the coils toroidal structure is represented by the superconductor, while the covering structure is very lightweight thanks to the use of the honeycomb. Also the main structure has resulted in a relatively lightweight component. The mass of the whole structure composed by four toroidal structures and the main structure is around 50 tons. This represents a great improvement with respect to the barrel toroid configuration. This result can be considered as a starting point for the future developments, where the mass can be cut down even further, using new and innovative materials.