Characterization and magnetic augmentation of a low voltage electromagnetic railgun
Hartke, John P.
Maier, William B. II
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In the near future armored vehicles will be fielded with reactive armor which can not be defeated by today's chemically propelled munitions. Today's munitions are limited to muzzle velocities less than the speed of sound in the chemical propellant which is about 1.8 km/s. Electromagnetic launch technologies have the ability to launch projectiles at velocities in excess of 2 km/s and may be able to defeat the reactive armor. Not only can electromagnetic launch technologies be used as an anti-tank weapon but it can also be used as anti-missile defense. To investigate electromagnetic launch technologies and the effects of augmentation a 44 cm railgun was constructed and tested. The railgun was powered by a capacitor bank of fourteen 330 V, 600 micro-F capacitors. The velocity of the projectile, the voltage across the capacitors and the current through the rails were measured. The augmentation of the gun with a permanent magnetic field increased the velocity of the projectile by 85% while air injection augmentation had no effect
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