Coilgun Technology at The Center for Electromechanics, The University of Texas at Austin

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Bresie, D.A.
Ingram, S.K.

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The engineering trade-offs performed on a coilgun design are described. The concept used was that of a collapsing field accelerator. This concept was chosen because of its passive operation, and because it lent itself to existing power supplies. The trade-offs described concern stress, maximum temperature rise in conductors, efficiency, time constants of the energy storage element, and weight. An example of such a trade-off concerns the mass of coilgun armatures. The more massive an armature, the greater its ability to absorb resistive losses and the higher its time constant. However, larger armature lower payload efficiency. Another trade-off concerns the fraction of armature weight that is devoted to structure. More highly stressed armatures have more attractive electrical performance at the expense of parasitic weight


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D.A. Bresie and S.K. Ingram, “Coilgun technology at the Center for Electromechanics, The University of Texas at Austin,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 29, no. 1, January 1993, pp. 649-654F.