Thermal Characteristics and Heat Transfer in an Electrothermal Light Gas Gun
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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In the electrothermal gun concept, the high enthalpy, low molecular weight, and high relative sound speed of a hot hydrogen plasma is used to impart high velocities to projectiles. While the plasma accelerates the projectile out of the gun barrel, it also transfers heat energy to the barrel walls and suffers from viscous dissipation. This thesis calculates the radiative, convective and conductive heat transfer processes and viscous effects. A study of plasma opacity is also presented, showing the gas in the barrel to be optically thick in most operating regimes, thus allowing the use of Rosseland diffusion theory. Finally, the overall energy loss is determined and a comparison of results to MACH 2 computer code presented.