An Optimized Double Ramp Integrated Launch Package Design for Railguns
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The need to evolve and make more efficient design tools for use in complex railgun system trade studies has led to an enhanced design for a fully integrated hybrid metal contact launch package for railguns. During work on two successful railgun projects at The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM), an algorithm was designed which has produced what appears to be a strong design candidate for an aluminum double ramp integrated launch package (ILP). Using only four user inputs, the code produces railgun bore configurations (simple or augmented) and detailed ILPs which minimize the energy requirements for the compulsator. The output design gives useful mass fractions very close to the pinnacle of what is possible without more extensive use of composites. This paper describes the design process used to optimize the railgun bore and ILP. Included is an advanced concept generated by the algorithm along with a detailed three-dimensional structural analysis of the ILP based upon a current profile that is relevant for high-performance applications.