Electrical Arc Driven Hypersonic Projectiles
Technical Report,01 Oct 2015,30 Sep 2018
US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory Aberdeen Proving Ground United States
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The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Commands Army Research Laboratory has developed a research gun capable of firing small projectiles of less than 1 g at velocities over 3000 ms. This gun is powered via a high-voltage electrical discharge rather than conventional propellants. A 20-kV, 188-muF capacitor bank is used to power the gun. Vaporization of a copper electrode creates a pressure in the breech that propels the projectile forward down the barrel. Several different design variables were explored to determine their effect on projectile velocity. The variable that had the largest effect on projectile velocity was the strength of the steel barrel. Computer simulations of the gun performance matched well with the experimental results.