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Payload Acceleration Using a 10-MJ DES Railgun

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3 Author(s)
Hundertmark, S. ; French-German Res. Inst. of St.-Louis (ISL), St. Louis, France ; Schneider, M. ; Vincent, G.

Railguns have the experimentally proven capability to accelerate masses of several kilograms to velocities in excess of 2 km/s. The U.S. ONR railgun project demonstrates that the military application of such high-performance railguns is becoming a realistic possibility in the nearer future. Up to now, the research at the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL) concentrates on reaching velocities of about 2.5 km/s with 300-g projectiles. The current research project is aimed at developing a realistic payload for the railgun projectile. At the same time, it is attempted to increase the used primary energy. Within this new multiyear research program, sponsored by the French and German defense agencies, the first step is to develop 600-g projectiles (with approximately 50% payload) and accelerate these to at least 2000 m/s. This paper reports on the results of experiments with two different types of projectiles at energy levels of up to 4.3 MJ.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 5 )