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Cannon-caliber electromagnetic launcher

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2 Author(s)
Zielinski, A.E. ; U.S. Army Res. Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA ; Werst, M.D.

The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM) designed and fabricated a rapid-fire railgun launcher. Three, five-round salvos of 185-g launch packages are to be accelerated to 1,850 m/s at a rate of 5 Hz. The 2.25-m-long series-augmented launcher has a 30-mm round-bore equivalent rectangular geometry and is water-glycol cooled. Rapid-fire operation is achieved by driving the launcher with multiple 835-kA peak pulses provided by the Cannon-Caliber Electromagnetic Gun (CCEMG) compulsator. A single-shot launcher prototype was tested for the CCEMG system at UT-CEM and at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The launcher has demonstrated an efficiency over 50%. A high CCFEMG system efficiency is in part due to the use of a solid armature and is enhanced by having a structurally stiff railgun. Historically, a railgun's stiffness was proportional to its weight. Laboratory-based railguns that have respectable mechanical properties have required massive structures that are nowhere near meeting the requirements of future vehicle integration and weaponization. The CCEMG railgun design incorporates a directional preloading mechanism, ceramic sidewalls, and a composite overwrap, which together give it a structural stiffness dominated by a high-modulus ceramic. The overall mass of the launcher is 273 kg. These characteristics make the cannon-caliber launcher one of the most “fieldable” railguns built to date

Published in:

Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )