Iron Core Compulsators for Railgun Power Supplies
Recent development efforts on compulsator based railgun power supplies have been focused on lightweight, composite, self-excited machines. However, operating experience with the Iron-core (ferromagnetic) compulsator at the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) has shown it to be extremely reliable and much more versatile than originally envisioned. Furthermore, recent experiments with high current solid state switches and studies or staged multiple compulsator discharges have made multiple compulsator installations attractive. For railgun installations where generator weight and volume are not primary concerns, multiple iron-core compulsators can provide a low cost, extremely versatile power supply. The design of such a system is presented, incorporating many or the most attractive features or advanced compulsator concepts. These Include: direct connection to mechanical prime power, Inherent power averaging, low jerk flat top current pulses producing high acceleration ratios, reclamation of the railgun magnetic energy with attendant elimination or muzzle arc, and rapid fire operation.