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Thermal management and resistive rail heating of a large-scale naval electromagnetic launcher

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4 Author(s)
A. N. Smith ; Mech. Eng. Dept., U.S. Naval Acad., Annapolis, MD, USA ; R. L. Ellis ; J. S. Bernardes ; A. E. Zielinski

This work presents a model that can be implemented to quickly estimate the resistive heating and the resulting transient temperature response. Quantifying the energy deposited in the rails and implementing an effective thermal management system will be key elements of an effective design for a large-scale electromagnetic launcher. The total current was divided between the inside, upper/lower, and outside surface based on the results of a current distribution calculation. The diffusion of the magnetic field into each surface was modeled in order to determine the current distribution and the resistive heating. Cooling between shots was taken into account by solving the one dimensional transient heat diffusion equation within each surface. Repeating these calculations for a number of discrete segments down the length of the rail enabled the prediction of the total resistive rail heating and the temperature profile along the length of the rail. Experimental tests were conducted that verify the presence of localized heating in the corners of a U-shaped conductor made of 7075 Aluminum. Taking into account the localized resistive heating near the surface of the conductor will become increasingly important with large-scale guns.

Published in:

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