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Laser Controlled Semiconductor Armature for Electromagnetic Launchers.
Patent Application, Filed 16 Jan 90,
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
An electromagnetic launcher or railgun includes a projectile or armature which is comprised of an optically activated semiconductor switch device including a body of bulk semiconductor material, such as gallium arsenide GaAs or gallium arsenide doped with chromium Cr GaAs, located between a pair of rails across which is connected a relatively high current source. A source of optical energy, such as a pulsed laser, directs optical energy to at least one surface of the semiconductor switch device where the conductivity of the semiconductor body, is thereby increased and current from the source is transformed between the rails through the semiconductor body, causing an electromagnetic Lorentz type drive force to be built up behind the armature, which is set into motion and rapidly accelerated along the rails. emk
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE