Railgun Experiments at The University of Texas Center for Electromechanics
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The Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin (CEMUT) presently has five experimental electromagnetic (EM) launchers or railguns in operation. An additional ten fully operational railguns are presently decommissioned and five new launchers are being fabricated. Several different parallel rail configurations and geometries are being studied as well as augmented rails and coaxial launchers. Recent tests utilizing the magnetic flux generated in a coil have produced promising results for work with coilgun launchers. Electromagnetic launchers at CEM-UT have been used in a wide variety of experiments. Particles of 50 to SOO μm in diameter have been accelerated up to 11 km/ s to determine the effects of micrometeorite impacts on materials used in space applications and 2.5-kg packages have been launched to 2.6 km/ s (8.1 MJ muzzle energy) in ballistic tests. Paper studies on launching 100-kg payloads at 10 km/s have also been conducted to determine the feasibility of launching satellites with EM launchers.