basic principles of the M-2000 maglev system are described in Superconducting
Maglev and Learning to
Levitate. This section summarizes the specific design features
of the M-2000 system.
One of the main advantages of the M-2000 maglev system is its large
clearance, nominally 6 Inches between the vehicle and the guideway.
The superconducting magnets on the vehicle induce currents in a
guideway of normal metal loops along which the vehicle travels.
The M-2000 suspension is very stable. Any external vertical or
horizontal force on the vehicle is automatically countered by a
magnetic restoring force that pushes it back towards its equilibrium
suspension point. Using null flux guideway loops, the external force
would have to be greater than twice the weight of the vehicle to
make it contact the guideway. External forces from winds, curves,
or grades, are much smaller than this value, so that the vehicle
is stable against all external forces.
The M-2000 suspension has very small magnetic drag. The air drag
force, however, is significant, about 5 to 10% of vehicle weight
at 300 mph. The air drag force scales as the square of vehicle speed,
and air drag power as the cube of speed. At a speed of 150 mph,
for example, air drag power is only 1/8th of that at 300 mph.