Fabrication and Testing of a 30 mm and 90 mm Laminated, High L’ Railgun Designed and Built at CEM-UT
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With the emphasis on moving railgun technology from a laboratory based setting out into the field, a new lighter weight and stiff railgun structure was designed at the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT). This innovative design takes advantage of stainless steel laminations with a composite overwrap to provide radial and longitudinal support for the rail/insulator package. The goal of this design effort was to build a 90 mm bore gun with a 9 MJ muzzle energy and provide comparable stiffness to the hydraulically prestressed 90 mm railgun at CEM-UT. The fabrication phase involved building a 90 mm/spl times/7 m long railgun in conjunction with a 30 mm/spl times/3 m subscale version for performance testing up to full design loads. The 30 mm subscale launcher has been successfully tested at CEM-UT up to its full current rating of 1.0 MA. This paper discusses the problems encountered during the final assembly of the 90 mm skid gun and how these difficulties were overcome. The paper also discusses the successful testing to full load of a 30 mm one-third scale version of the 90 mm gun. The paper concludes with a brief discussion on an additional 30 mm laminated gun which was redesigned based on experience with the previous laminated gun assemblies.