skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: PROGRESS REPORT ON RAIL GUN STUDIES , MARCH 1959-SEPTEMBER 1, 1959

Abstract

Previous research with rail guns is reviewed. Experiments indicated that curved rails confined plasma better than parallel plates or wires. The signals in some experiments indicated the presence of electrons rather than plasma, but acceleration of plasma with rail type equipment was achieved. During the period a second rail gun system that permits automatic or manual rail charging was placed in operation. One end of the rails was connected to the vacuum system while the other was connected to a lucite block. The arrangement is shown. Tests showed that variation of rail length had no effect on the Paschen curves relating length to breakdown voltage and pressure. The length and position of the discharge was somewhat dependent on gas pressure in the rails. Techniques developed for measuring plasma acceleration established only an average velocity for the conducting element of 7.2 plus or minus 2 x 10/sup 5/ cm/sec. Various types of probes were used to examine the properties of the discharge material. Results from flat disc probe tests indicate the propagating medium to be a negatively charged medium with an excess of electrons, not a plasma. The shape of signals (displayed) from electric probes yielded the same conclusion, but amore » magnetic probe gave evidence for a plasma. An unsuccessful attempt was made to accelerate plasma injected by button guns. Measurements were made with Kerr cell photography and photocell arrangements. Time of flight and microwave Doppler shift measurements of the velocity agreed well. Some components for an acceleration arrangement using a button gun for a plasma source and a magnetic funnel for acceleration were completed. Low inductance switches for the fast 100,000 joule capacitor bank were tested, and a safety control system was added. Data and schematics of apparatus are presented. (D.C.W.)« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stevens Inst. of TEch., Hoboken, N.J.
OSTI Identifier:
4728545
Report Number(s):
TID-18439
NSA Number:
NSA-17-019464
DOE Contract Number:  
AT(30-1)-1921
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-63
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
PHYSICS; BEAMS; BREAKDOWN; CAPACITORS; CONFIGURATION; CONFINEMENT; CONTROL; DIAGRAMS; ELECTRIC CHARGES; ELECTRIC DISCHARGES; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRONS; GASES; INJECTION; INSTRUMENTS; KERR CELLS; LIGHT; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MEASURED VALUES; MICROWAVES; MODULATION; OPERATION; PASCHEN CURVE; PERFORMANCE; PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS; PHOTOGRAPHY; PLASMA; PLATES; PLEXIGLAS; POLARIZATION; POLYMERS; PRESSURE; PROBES; REFRACTION; SAFETY; SIGNALS; SPECTRAL SHIFT; STORAGE; SWITCHES; TESTING; VACUUM; VARIATIONS; VELOCITY; WIRES

Citation Formats

Bostick, W H. PROGRESS REPORT ON RAIL GUN STUDIES , MARCH 1959-SEPTEMBER 1, 1959. United States: N. p., 1963. Web.
Bostick, W H. PROGRESS REPORT ON RAIL GUN STUDIES , MARCH 1959-SEPTEMBER 1, 1959. United States.
Bostick, W H. Thu . "PROGRESS REPORT ON RAIL GUN STUDIES , MARCH 1959-SEPTEMBER 1, 1959". United States.
@article{osti_4728545,
title = {PROGRESS REPORT ON RAIL GUN STUDIES , MARCH 1959-SEPTEMBER 1, 1959},
author = {Bostick, W H},
abstractNote = {Previous research with rail guns is reviewed. Experiments indicated that curved rails confined plasma better than parallel plates or wires. The signals in some experiments indicated the presence of electrons rather than plasma, but acceleration of plasma with rail type equipment was achieved. During the period a second rail gun system that permits automatic or manual rail charging was placed in operation. One end of the rails was connected to the vacuum system while the other was connected to a lucite block. The arrangement is shown. Tests showed that variation of rail length had no effect on the Paschen curves relating length to breakdown voltage and pressure. The length and position of the discharge was somewhat dependent on gas pressure in the rails. Techniques developed for measuring plasma acceleration established only an average velocity for the conducting element of 7.2 plus or minus 2 x 10/sup 5/ cm/sec. Various types of probes were used to examine the properties of the discharge material. Results from flat disc probe tests indicate the propagating medium to be a negatively charged medium with an excess of electrons, not a plasma. The shape of signals (displayed) from electric probes yielded the same conclusion, but a magnetic probe gave evidence for a plasma. An unsuccessful attempt was made to accelerate plasma injected by button guns. Measurements were made with Kerr cell photography and photocell arrangements. Time of flight and microwave Doppler shift measurements of the velocity agreed well. Some components for an acceleration arrangement using a button gun for a plasma source and a magnetic funnel for acceleration were completed. Low inductance switches for the fast 100,000 joule capacitor bank were tested, and a safety control system was added. Data and schematics of apparatus are presented. (D.C.W.)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/4728545}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1963},
month = {10}
}

Technical Report:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that may hold this item. Keep in mind that many technical reports are not cataloged in WorldCat.

Save / Share: