A Bench Top Railgun with Distributed Energy Sources

John Mankowski, James Dickens, Michael Giesselmann, B McDaniel, Brent Gary McHale, Magne Kristiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental results of a distributed energy source railgun are presented. Distributed energy source railguns were first proposed by Marshal in an asynchronous scheme and later by Parker synchronously. Both schemes employ a "traveling excitation wave" to push the projectile along the rail. The primary advantages of such a scheme over the common breech-fed is higher efficiency due to less energy remaining in the rail and lower rail resistive loses. Another advantage is the reduction in the probability of re-strike. However, these advantages are achieved at a cost of higher switching complexity. As a proof of principle experiment, we have constructed a bench-top solid armature railgun with distributed energy sources. Instead of a single, capacitive, breech-fed, energy source, the current is supplied by two storage capacitor banks, placed at different positions along the rail. The switching configuration, which requires a dedicated switch at each capacitor, is realized with sold state s
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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