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Lethality testing involving railgun simulators

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1 Author(s)
R. Gavert ; Defence Nuclear Agency DOD Washington, D.C.

The Lethality and Target Hardening (LTH) Program directed by the Defense Nuclear Agency has the mission of developing lethality data for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) designated missiles and other targets. For kinetic energy evaluations, data must be developed at various velocities for a variety of projectile masses in order to determine the kill of the targets. The electromagnetic launcher (EML) is theoretically an attractive approach for developing data at projectile velocities greater than 10 km/s. At present, pressure containment, ablation control and plasma armature drag problems are preventing the achievement of the needed velocities. Although railgun weapon and component research is active, the objectives and priorities of that research differ somewhat from the objectives and design needs in building a lethality simulator. An EML lethality simulator is not, for example, encumbered by size, weight or power efficiencies limits. The factors in developing an EML lethality simulator are discussed with an attempt made to find common ground with weapon and component developers for giving proper attention to essential lethality simulator needs.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 6 )