Skip to Main Content
A pulsed power supply of a 1.5-MJ capacitor bank has been developed for high-current high-velocity sliding electrical contact studies in railgun launches. The system consists of 8 small modules, each with a capacitance of 15 mF, and one large module with a capacitance of 54 mF. All of nine modules use triggered spark gaps as the main switches. Various shapes of high-current pulse can be formed by controlling the charging voltage and firing time of each module. The small module has been designed for the maximum operating voltage of 5 kV, the peak current of 140 kA, the pulse rise time of 0.9 ms, in which semiconducting diode stack is used as crowbar switch. Since the large module has no crowbar switch and relatively small pulse forming inductance, it can supply high-amplitude oscillating current waveform. The effects of the large module are threefold. First, the large module provides a basic current on which the currents of small modules superimpose to form a nearly constant driving current of armature. Second, the oscillating nature of the current can drastically reduce the muzzle arc current; hence suppression of the muzzle arc can be obtained. Third, the crowbar switch can be removed and therefore the cost of the system can be reduced. The experiments were performed to verify the operation performances of the two kinds of modules, where the modules were discharged simultaneously and/or sequentially. The feasibility of large module on the muzzle arc control is also examined. The results of the experiments show that a total current of 400 kA with a 1.5 ms flat-top time can be obtained and all the modules show good performance during the railgun firing.