Power Supply Technology for Electric Guns

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Gully, J. H.

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Because there are multiple power supply options being developed to power electric guns, there is no single component which could become an obstacle that could limit the technology. Pulsed power supply technology is developing rapidly, and it appears that projected improvements will provide adequately compact components for field-portable applications. Although rectified pulse alternators and compulsators are nominally comparable, rectified alternators appear to be better suited for long pulses. Compulsators are particularly well-suited for shirt, high power pulses because compulsators have pulsewidth limitations, An energy density of around 15 kJ/kg seems to be required for capacitor-based systems to achieve comparable mass to projected rotating machine-based systems. This assumes that high energy density batteries are utilized for energy storage. Intermediate energy storage is very important to all of the systems. Volumetric constraints, which are potentially more important than mass constraints, can only be addressed through design studies where packaging, busbars, thermal management, etc. are included. The advances in pulse power supply technology are important to other devices in addition to electric guns, including fusion devices, microwaves, lasers, and particle beam accelerators


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J.H. Gully, “Power supply technology for electric guns,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 27, no. 1, January 1991, pp. 329-334.