SNF Issue No. 46, February 2019

In this Issue:

  • COATED CONDUCTORS FOR APPLICATIONS (CCA 2018): Selected Presentations

  • 2018 APPLIED SUPERCONDUCTIVITY CONFERENCE (ASC 2018): Selected Plenary Presentations, Invited Presentations, and Preprints

Theva To Develop High-Temperature Superconductor For The Munich Grid

HP138June 13, 2019 (HP138). Industry consortium working with Munich public works to build a 12-kilometer high-tension line

A consortium of five partners, including THEVA, intends to build a high-temperature superconducting (HTS) transmission line in Munich. It will be the longest in the world by far. A declaration of intent has been signed, resulting in a development application to the German Federal Ministry of Economy. THEVA in Ismaning near Munich produces superconductors in series. As part of this project it will expand its product portfolio to include a conductor designed specifically for the cable application. HTS cables for electrical power distribution in cities are projected to be one of the most important and highest-revenue market segments for superconductors.

This project, called SuperLink, features extreme compactness combined with environmental neutrality, especially compared to conventional cables and overhead lines. The new HTS cable will make the Munich electrical grid ready for the future. Following successful completion of the subsidized development project, plans call for the construction of a 12-kilometer high-voltage line between the main transformer station in Menzing and the Munich South load centre using high-temperature superconductor (HTS).

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Superconducting SIS Detectors Unlock the Mystery of Black Holes

HP137 Fig 1April 22, 2019 (HP137).  Until last week, the evidence for black holes had been obtained indirectly, for example by measuring the black hole’s gravitational effect on the path of other celestial bodies and more recently by detection of gravity waves from the collision of black holes using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015 (Nobel Laureate Dr. Weiss presented a seminar on that discovery at the recent Applied Superconductivity Conference in 2018). However, very excitingly for our superconducting community, a black hole has now been imaged using superconducting detectors at radio astronomy observatories around the world in a remarkable and common-culture captivating discovery.

This mapping of the gas ring swirling around and violently captured by the black hole also provided further confirmation of Einstein’s theories on relativity and enabled astronomers to measure its mass (6.5 billion times heavier than our own sun!). This feat is remarkable on many levels. The black hole was chosen for imaging because it had the clearest sight-lines from earth, yet it is 55 million light years, or three hundred quintillion miles away. The imaged gas emission ring surrounding the black hole’s event horizon is only on order of the size of a single star. And as if the task couldn’t get more challenging, the electromagnetic signal that transverses the heavens is attenuated and distorted by gas clouds and ionized particles along its 55-million-year journey.  While it took an international cast of scientists and engineers working together to accomplish this feat, this discovery could not have been accomplished without the heart of the telescope- the Superconducting Insulating Superconducting (SIS) detectors that first greeted each photon after its long journey through the heavens.

Fig.1. (Picture of an NRAO-UVA Band6 ALMA receiver.

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