Alternative Projectile Accelerators

The purpose of this experiment was to prove the functionality of various methods of alternative projectile accelerators and, if they are functional, determine a minimum scaling, and their energy efficiencies, and with such a scaling and relative efficiencies determine the suitability of scaling the accelerator large enough for military uses. To conduct these experiments a table-topped sized model was built of each of five types of cannons: Electrothermal Discharge, Electromagnetic Rail, Electromagnetic Coil, Electromagnetic Discharge Coil, and Permanent Magnet Gun. The Electrothermal Discharge cannon used graphite wired to a capacitor bank, creating a shock wave that fired a projectile. The Electromagnetic Rail gun used two electrified welding rods as rails, with a piece of graphite over the rails as a projectile. The Electromagnetic Coil Gun used a straight electrical source through a solenoid to fire a rammed cork. The Electromagnetic Discharge Coil gun used a capacitor bank to fire a steel pipe. The Permanent Magnet gun fired a rammed cork by the pull from its magnetic field. It was concluded that all of these technologies work, but the efficiencies of electrically fired guns was below acceptable tolerances.

Research Done By:

Ronald Dreslinski
Sterling Heights

Vinay D'Souza
Sterling Heights

John Rollinger
Warren Mott