Electrical Energy Shaping for Ballistic Applications in Electrothermal Guns
ARMY BALLISTIC RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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A five-stage, 130-kJ pulse forming network PFN for delivering electrical energy to an experimental ETC gun is described. The device is fundamentally a network of RLC circuits where the load, R, is either a fixed-metallic or variable-plasma resistance. Capacitors provide longterm energy storage, inductors are used for pulse shaping, ignitrons are used as closing switches, and power diodes serve as clamping diodes to protect the capacitors from voltage reversal during operation. Linear theory network simulations of circuit discharge into the fixed load within an energy range of 1.4 to 22.0 kJ are in close agreement with experiment. Resistance measurements of plasmas generated using this PFN indicate that plasma resistance is a strong function of current. It is linear with capillary length and inversely proportional to capillary diameter. Loss of diodes during operation was frequent. The probable cause of this problem and circuit revisions to reduce diode stresses are described.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution