General Atomics Electromagnetic Rail Gun

sferrin

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Jemiba said:
fredymac said:
Posts for railguns are spread over several boards. Can these all be consolidated?

That's easy, but we would get an estimated 20+ pages thread then !
We have this thread (GA rail gun development), one about rail guns in the orbit, gun on ships,
and about deployability of such weapons. The latter two actually are somewhat overlapping, but
there are more general questions in it, too. And rail guns are mentioned in other threads, but not
as main themes.
So I'm not sure, if things really get better by merging those threads.
But perhaps someone can enlighten me about affiliation the GA to the BAe models, as the latter one
is mentioned in several posts.
We could split BAe, or change the title, if useful.

They are two completely separate projects. Like the YF-22 and YF-23.
 

fredymac

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Jemiba said:
fredymac said:
Posts for railguns are spread over several boards. Can these all be consolidated?

That's easy, but we would get an estimated 20+ pages thread then !
We have this thread (GA rail gun development), one about rail guns in the orbit, gun on ships,
and about deployability of such weapons. The latter two actually are somewhat overlapping, but
there are more general questions in it, too. And rail guns are mentioned in other threads, but not
as main themes.
So I'm not sure, if things really get better by merging those threads.
But perhaps someone can enlighten me about affiliation the GA to the BAe models, as the latter one
is mentioned in several posts. We could split BAe, or change the title, if useful.





I would like to see a single thread for general railgun development which would include any specific contractor (which really only means BAe and General Atomics at the moment). Most railgun news pertains to this development program. As an example of this, the FA-XX or LRS-B threads are program based and not contractor specific. The tradeoff is a long thread which consolidates posts or scattered threads. I would handle the long thread by simply closing it at say 10 pages and starting a continuation thread.


For special developments such as the railgun deployment to sea, a separate thread could be used.


And of course, a formal railgun project leading to a deployed weapon would merit its’ own thread.
 

sferrin

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Personally I'd prefer "Railgun: General Atomics", "Railgun: BAE Systems", and "Railgun: General" threads. Both GA and BAE Systems railguns have history and development programs, as well as future plans, associated with them, and dumping them altogether would just make a mess. Aside from that there is railgun R&D going back to at least the 80s that has nothing to do with either, and really doesn't belong in the same threads.
 

Jemiba

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I think, we have to got the latter way. When merged, posts are sorted in chronological
order and this could make reading a bit difficult.

Posts about the BAe rail gun development can be found here :
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,24955.msg220772.html#msg220772

General questions and should be posted here :
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2110.msg247545.html#msg247545

and posts about the GA rail gun remain here. (Sorry for that vagueness :-[ )


If there are posts, which you think should be moved, or you're totally unhappy with a thread
title, please tell me.
 

sferrin

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Are the posts about General Atomics railgun in the BAE thread or the General Information thread?
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
Are the posts about General Atomics railgun in the BAE thread or the General Information thread?

I think Jemiba's post implies this one for GA and then the ones listed for other rail gun information.
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
Are the posts about General Atomics railgun in the BAE thread or the General Information thread?

I think Jemiba's post implies this one for GA and then the ones listed for other rail gun information.

Ah. Dur. :-[
 

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http://www.ga.com/general-atomics-completes-successful-open-range-testing-of-railgun-projectile-guidance-electronics-unit

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San Diego, CA, 13 March 2016 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that their hypersonic projectiles with prototype components for their Guidance Electronics Unit (GEU) successfully performed programmed actions and communicated component performance to a ground station via a telemetry link in tests carried out 7-9 March 2016 at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The GEU, housed in the aerodynamically stable test projectile consists of a number of components, including integrated navigation sensors and processors for guidance, navigation and control.

The five test projectiles were fired at accelerations greater than 30,000 times that of gravity (>30,000 gees) from GA-EMS' 3 mega joule Blitzer® electromagnetic railgun system. The projectiles and the critical components within them experienced, survived and operated in the multi-Tesla magnetic field within the launcher and the overall launch environment. All of the GEU components performed as expected during and after the launch event, and through multiple seconds of aero-stable flight.
 

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General Atomics Multimission Medium Range Railgun Weapon System (MMRRWS)

http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/05/general-atomics-will-fund-development.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=FaceBook
 

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Tests of medium (?) size railgun at Dugway Proving Grounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5tDumZiAqc
 

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http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20170309-atomics.html

Next generation pulsed power container.
 

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https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/10/general-atomics-get-advanced-electromechnical-tech-for-railgun-weapon-system.html
 

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GA news item

"SAN DIEGO, CA, 01 MAR 2018 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army through the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) to evaluate and mature electromagnetic railgun weapon system capabilities to support the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Command (ARDEC). The three year period of performance contract will team GA-EMS with ARDEC to advance railgun technologies, deliver a series of prototypes, and perform system integration and testing for mission effectiveness and possible integration with existing and future Army vehicles."

http://www.ga.com/general-atomics-awarded-army-contract-to-advance-railgun-weapon-system-technology
 

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http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2018/4/23/armys-pursuit-of--electromagnetic-railguns-heats-up

General Atomics has been awarded a contract to develop electromagnetic railgun technology for the Army as the service pursues cutting-edge weapons to take on advanced adversaries.

The Army’s growing interest in this capability comes after years of research by the Navy, which has yet to field one of the weapons.

Railguns utilize magnetic fields generated by electrical currents to slide a projectile between two rails inside the barrel. The technology enables the projectiles to travel at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 (3,800 miles per hour) or faster. When the systems are mature, they are expected to have far greater range and lethality than standard artillery or naval guns.
 

sferrin

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Back in the day (mid/late 80's) there was a concept with a railgun (might have been a coil gun) on an armored chassis. There was a generator mounted transversely along the rear of the vehicle that looked like the fuel tanks on an old T-72.
 

jsport

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Betting the below is not BAE of GA and it was started w/ light gas. Not a pure EMRG. Govy owned and that is best way for some time as the best chemical/electro magnetic combination is necessary to perfect and then to perfect into an operational system. That is some years off.

UT Austin has had a railgun for Army research in the past and appears to be still be working generators, (turns out fuel is better for EMRGs than Nuke power). That mightt be why Blitzer was turned down. Better stuff in the works.



https://www.globalsecurity.org › space › systems › eml

...."Thunderbolt EML, was a ground-based demonstrator operated by the Defense Nuclear Agency. The goal of the Thunderbolt program is to continue development of the Thunderbolt EML to enable the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) to deploy a spaced-based kinetic energy weapon system.
The Thunderbolt EML is fired by injecting the projectile by means of a single-stage light gas gun, A gas gun is used because it reduces the barrel erosion that occurs when the projectile is electromagnetically accelerated, When the projectile enters the EML from the gas gun, it is traveling at about 1 kilometer per second, At the entry point into the barrel, current is applied as described above and the projectile is electromagnetically accelerated.
In previous EML experiments, the maximum velocity attained after electromagnetic acceleration has been 6 kilometers per second, The focus of this particular contract is to determine why there is a 6 kilometers per second ceiling after electromagnetic acceleration and to design or redesign the Thunderbolt EML to 10-kilometers per second velocity. The 6-kilometers per second ceiling experienced in the Thunderbolt EML is caused by erosion of material from the inner walls of the barrel that occurs when the projectile is electromagnetically accelerated, as the ablated mass adds to the plasma mass already present and reduces the projectile acceleration because of the extra mass and drag of this material. Research on various EMLs supports the hypothesis that radiative ablation is a significant factor as well."
 

jsport

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(turns out fuel is better for EMRGs than Nuke power).

I wasn't aware electricity generated with fuel was different than that generated with nuclear power.
"Nuclear reactors [are energy dense, but not very power dense]. Turbines have great power densities. This is 27000 hp (20 MW), almost enough to power an early LA class submarine. A reactor's shielding alone is much larger and heavier."


"Using flywheels, SAIC estimated 46,000 peak g's (64 MJ, Mach 7+).
Capacitors might output a smoother power pulse, yielding a flatter acceleration profile and lower peak g's (lower stress). This relaxes the material requirements somewhat for both the barrel and round... thus cheaper/easier/sooner to mature. Maybe that's why the navy went with caps. (I've seen literally NO ONE advocate for caps over flywheels in ANY publication ANYWHERE---flywheels were a foregone conclusion---so I'm still bewildered why the Navy chose capacitors.)"

Naval Railgun FAQ & Primer (v1.0.3)

/u/HephaestusAetnaean 2015-18
 

marauder2048

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A 32 MJ EMRG needs about 24 MW to sustain a 10 rpm firing rate.
For a land-based system, that's a big ask for the portable nuclear reactors under consideration.

But it's only 2/3rds of a gallon of JP or diesel.
 

sferrin

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A 32 MJ EMRG needs about 24 MW to sustain a 10 rpm firing rate.
For a land-based system, that's a big ask for the portable nuclear reactors under consideration.

But it's only 2/3rds of a gallon of JP or diesel.

That makes sense for land-based mobile. I must have missed that in the earlier post.
 

jsport

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Capacitors, square barrels, and pure EMRG are steps backwards Navy.
 

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General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has been awarded a contract modification by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC) to further the development and maturation of hypersonic projectiles, the company announced on 7 January.

The projectiles will be launched in high G-force and electromagnetic field environments to verify that the projectiles and associated gun-hardened guidance and control electronics perform as designed to intercept moving airborne targets, during live fire events scheduled through the end of 2021.

“This is a critical next step toward the goal of integrating guided projectiles for railgun technologies into the air and missile defense command network, and closing the fire control loop to enable precision engagement and intercept of airborne targets,” stated Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS. “Over the past few years, we have made significant advancements in developing, manufacturing, and testing gun-hardened electronics, projectiles, and railgun weapon system technologies and components. Working closely with the Army’s DEVCOM AC, we will leverage our expertise and lessons learned to bring these disruptive technologies forward to provide greater defended range and strike capabilities for air and missile defense and long-range precision fires missions.”

In addition to efforts to advance railgun weapon systems, GA-EMS has made a significant investment in internal research and development to advance and mature critical gun-hardened guidance electronics, projectile structural components, and mechanical systems. Under this contract modification, GA-EMS will manufacture guided projectiles to undergo test firings from the Navy’s railgun at the White Sands Missile Range, NM, using the Navy’s armature and sabot package.

“We have a successful track record verifying the survivability of our projectiles and establishing in-flight two-way data links, having previously conducted multiple test firing events at Dugway Proving Ground,” explained Nick Bucci, VP of Missile Defense and Space Systems. “The projectiles for this new round of testing include our fourth-generation gun-hardened guidance electronic units and enhanced telemetry components. We are looking forward to verifying the projectiles’ capability to sustain data links, control its trajectory via actuated control surfaces using command guidance, and hit moving airborne targets, all while undergoing incredible G-forces and at hypersonic speeds. For the future battlespace, this will mean greater precision and accuracy to meet and defeat airborne threats.”

 
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jsport

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Intercept is good niche for EMRGs as opposed to other gun tech for multi-purposes.
 

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GA-EMS Test Firings Advance Projectile Interceptor Design​

SAN DIEGO – 10 Mar 2022 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has completed a major test series in collaboration with the Army and Navy to advance the state-of-the-art in gun-launched defensive projectile interceptor designs. Identical projectile designs were test fired from a railgun at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and a powder gun at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The projectiles reached record hypersonic velocities from the railgun launch and tested the projectiles’ guided flight capabilities from both gun systems. GA-EMS delivered projectiles with integrated gun-hardened guidance electronics to test their capability to sustain data links and control trajectory while the projectiles undergo intense G-forces at hypersonic speeds.

“Close communication among the team members was critical to the outcome of this effort,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We tested significant advancements in our projectile design, demonstrating survivability and good aerodynamic performance at these velocities, while testing guidance capabilities that promise greater precision and accuracy to effectively meet and defeat airborne threats.”

GA-EMS fabricated and delivered completed projectile assemblies which contain guidance electronics and control actuation systems. GA-EMS worked closely with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM-AC) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren Division (NSWC-DD) to perform several test firings. During the first test series, projectiles were launched using the Navy’s 32 megajoule railgun system at the White Sands Missile Range. The second test series fired the same projectile designs from a 120 mm powder gun at Dugway Proving Ground

“We have completed our contract to fabricate, deliver, and test prototype projectiles in railgun and powder gun environments,” continued Forney. “GA-EMS continues to develop technologies to bring the most affordable, gun-launched hypersonic and supersonic weapon system capabilities to the future battlespace.”
 

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A big problem with practical rail guns is erosion of the rails by the plasma arc from the driving current.
I am sure it is all highly classified, but a very obvious solution has only just occurred to me. Lots of things (wheel brakes, crankshaft bearings, furnaces, space shuttle undersides) tend to have a thin liner or pad which you change when it wears out, so you could just fix a disposable liner along the rail.
Suddenly I feel this GA railgun could really be getting there at last.
 
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