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Determining the Lorentz forces in plasma armatures

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1 Author(s)
M. L. Huebschman ; Strategic Defense Initiative Organ., Washington, DC, USA

A resistive MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) model of plasma armatures can be used to determine the Lorentz force distribution in the plasma. The electric and magnetic fields, as a function of position, are derived using the electric circuit of the railgun system. Conductivity in the plasma, as a function of position, is derived from the temperature and magnetic field distributions in the plasma. The Lorentz forces in the plasma are analyzed in the moving and fixed reference frames to provide an understanding of velocity limitation effects. Any element of the plasma, at r, reaches its velocity limit when its velocity equals the ratio of the electric field to the magnetic field at that point. It is concluded that plasma armature, breech fed railguns appear to be performing exactly as the power conditioning systems have been designed to let them. There is no real velocity limitation

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )