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Mechanical design aspects of the HYVAX railgun

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4 Author(s)
Fox, W.E. ; Los Almos National Laboratory, Los Almos, NM ; Cummings, C. ; Davidson, R. ; Parker, J.V.

The hypervelocity experiment (HYVAX) railgun (Fig. 1) is designed to produce projectile velocities greater than 15 km/s in a 13-m-long, round bore gun. The HYVAX gun incorporates a modular design enabling it to operate in either a distributed energy-storage mode or a single-stage mode. The gun is composed of seven O.3-m-long power input modules and nine 1.2-m-long accelerating modules. The gun is designed for a 100-shot life. To accommodate this, the bore may be enlarged from an initial diameter of 10.8 mm to a final diameter of 12.7 mm. This will allow the bore to be refinished several times during the life of the gun. To minimize mechanical and arc damage to the gun between bore refinishing operations, the gun will incorporate a low pressure helium projectile injector. Projectiles will be injected under vacuum at 350 m/s. The gun will be operated at a peak current and voltage of 600 kA and 6 kV respectively. The gun will undergo three phases of testing. The first phase will be the characterization of the gun's performance using a 3.0-m-long section of the gun comprising two power modules and two accelerating modules. This testing will be accomplished using two of the seven capacitor bank modules shown in Fig. 1. The second test phase will use a distributed power configuration and seven capacitor bank modules, as shown in Fig. 1, to demonstrate a velocity of 15 km/s with a 1-g projectile. The predicted performance of the gun for this test phase is illustrated in Fig. 2. In the third phase of testing we will use a magnetic flux compression generator (MFCG) to power the gun with a goal of demonstrating a velocity of 25 km/s.

Published in:

Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 2 )