Design and optimization of a 600-KJ railgun power
Warnock, Dwight S.
Ashton, Robert W.
Maier, William B.
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The purpose of this thesis is to explore the design options for a 1.2-m railgun power supply capable of accelerating a 150-g to 250-g projectile to 1000 m/s. In order to accomplish this task a MATLAB model will be constructed to conduct trade-off studies between various power supply configurations in an attempt to maximize the system performance. The final design shows that by distributing the system capacitance between four equal size banks and firing them sequentially the total system capacitance can be reduced by more than half. Because the capacitor banks are fired sequentially, the current pulse is length-ened resulting in more efficient use of the barrel. The final benefit of using a multiple-bank system is that the individual bank currents are reduced by a factor of four over the single-bank scenario. By reducing the bank currents solid-state switches are now an affordable option further improving the system performance. By applying a systematic approach to optimizing the power supply this study has shown that the energy required to accelerate a 172-g projectile to 1000 m/s can be reduced from 1.3 MJ in the single-bank scenario to 600 KJ by distributing the capacitance over four equal sized banks.
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