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Operational requirements and issues for coilgun electromagnetic launchers

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1 Author(s)
Kaye, R.J. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA

Coilgun electromagnetic launchers have capability for low- and high-speed applications. Through the development of four guns having projectiles ranging from 10 g to 5 kg and speeds up to 1 km/s, Sandia National Laboratories has succeeded in coilgun design and operations, validating the computational codes and basis for gun system control. Coilguns developed at Sandia consist of many coils stacked end-to-end forming a barrel, with each coil energized in sequence to create a traveling magnetic wave that accelerates a projectile. Active tracking of the projectile location during launch provides precise feedback to control when the coils are triggered to create this wave. However, optimum performance depends also on selection of coil parameters. This paper discusses issues related to coilgun design and control such as tradeoffs in geometry and circuit parameters to achieve the necessary current risetime to establish the energy in the coils. The impact of switch jitter on gun performance is also assessed for high-speed applications.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 1 )