High Schoolers Visit Airfloat to Learn about Fusion Project
A group of Mt. Zion High School students visited Airfloat/Align mid-November to learn about an international fusion reactor project, including the role Airfloat is playing in its development. The ITER reactor, currently under construction in Southern France, is funded by seven member countries and will produce 500 megawatts of output power when it becomes operational in 2020.
After giving the students a brief overview of the ITER project, Align Production Systems CEO Jason Stoecker led them on a tour of Align’s 50,000-sq.-ft. Decatur manufacturing facility. The main item of interest: a large Coil Transport Tool (CTT) that will be used to move enormous superconducting magnets into and out of a containment vessel. The CTT was designed and built by Align for General Atomics, a U.S.-based nuclear physics and defense contractor. The large U-shaped machine uses Airfloat air-caster technology to float heavy loads on a thin film of compressed air.
In the above photo, 110,000 lbs. of test weight have been loaded onto the CTT for demonstrational purposes. The CTT can transport the load in any horizontal direction and raise and lower it by means of built-in lifting jacks.