Plasma Properties of a Large-Bore, Arc-Armature Railgun
ARMY BALLISTIC RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Diagnostic measurements on the plasma armature of the large-bore railgun, CHECMATE, have been made for four separate firings. These measurements include time-dependent values of the current, light output, and breech and muzzle voltages. In addition, signals obtained from B-dot data are used to infer the armature induction field, current-density profile, and arc length. The measured results are then employed in conjunction with a one-dimensional, steady-state model to calculate properties of the arc which cannot be measured directly. Among the quantities calculated are the armature mass and the temperature and ionization state as a function of position in the arc. As a result of this analysis, it is concluded that the armature remains nearly constant and that the arc temperature is somewhat lower than had been expected previously. Both these factors lend some credence to the use of plasma armatures for a wide variety of applications. Keywords Railgun Plasma armature Electromagnetic propulsion Plasma diagnostics.
- Electricity and Magnetism