Advanced Compulsators for Railguns

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Pratap, S.B.
Hsieh, K.T.
Driga, M.D.
Weldon, W.F.

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In order to maximize the penetration of a projectile into a target, the acceleration on the projectile during the launch must be minimized. Low accelerations permit the design of long and slender projectiles which have better penetration capability. From this standpoint, power supplies for electromagnetic launchers must be able to provide rectangular current pulses with a high average to peak acceleration ratio. The authors discuss efforts to obtain the desired pulse shape from a compensated pulsed alternator (compulsator) when it is used as a power supply for railguns. A general theory of the pulse shaping technique is presented first. This is followed by a discussion on the tradeoffs between various equivalent generator configurations. Finally, the electromagnetic design of the compensated pulsed alternator being developed for task C of the Electromagnetic Gun Weapons System Program is presented


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S.B. Pratap, K.T. Hsieh, M.D. Driga, and W.F. Weldon, “Advanced compulsators for railguns,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 25, no. 1, January 1989, pp. 454-459.