Naval electric weapons the electromagnetic railgun and free electron laser
Williams, Robert E.
Colson, William B.
Armstead, Robert L.
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Theory and simulations of the railgun and free electron laser are presented, as well as a suggestion for extending the railgun lifecycle. The theory, design, and analysis of an electromagnetic railgun using a numerical model are discussed. The effects of varying electrical pulse formations, rail materials and geometries are explored. The application of a metallurgical process to mitigate hypervelocity gouging in railgun rails is proposed. This concept, to delay the onset velocity of gouging by laser-peening rails surfaces, may significantly increase the velocity at which projectiles acceptably traverse the barrel and extend the useful life of rails. If successful, this process would apply to any pair of materials in sliding contact at high relative velocity, including rocket sled tracks and light gas guns barrels. The status of proof-of-concept tests at LLNL, UC Davis, and UT is covered. FEL simulations investigating the effect that electron beam focal point variations have on the optical mode within the undulator are presented.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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