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Railgunnery: Where have we been? Where are we going?

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1 Author(s)

The author reviews the way in which the art of modern railgunnery has progressed since it began at The Australian National University about 30 years ago. During the 10-year life of that program, most of the problems fundamental to railguns were encountered and examined. One of the reasons for the success of the ANU railgun program was the existence in Canberra at that time of the very large 500-MJ 1.6-MA homopolar generator. Use of this set the tone for the railgun work as its focus moved to the USA. The progression of power supply thinking from that point on is examined and conclusions drawn. The evolution of the railgun itself is also presented with particular emphasis being placed on armature development. The specifics of the two main armature-rail problems, gouging and transition, are examined in detail. Finally, where we are now is described, and from this vantage point, suggestions for the direction of future work are made

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )