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Solid armature development program at the ARDEC Electric Armaments Research Center

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7 Author(s)
Hildenbrand, D.J. ; Parker Kinetic Designs, Wharton, NJ, USA ; Long, B. ; Rapka, J. ; Colon, N.
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An experimental railgun armature program at the US Army Armament Research and Development Engineering Center is in-place and on-going. The goal of the program is to design and develop a 50 mm solid trailing arm armature that is capable of operating efficiently in the 800 kA to 1500 kA current range. An iterative design and test methodology was created to optimize the armature electrical efficiency. A six part test plan investigates the effect of armature compliance, current pulse shape, contact size and contact material on the magnitude of the muzzle voltage and the time of transition. The armature design and test plan seek to validate a candidate electrical contact wear model and establish the required relationship between compliance and optimum contact normal force for a given launch current. Currently, the affect of armature compliance and current pulse shape on the armature performance are being investigated at velocities in excess of 2.0 km/sec. As an outcome of the test program, armature quality factor has been defined as a new figure of merit for armature performance. The test results and analysis of the muzzle voltage are presented.<>

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 1 )