High Power Railgun Research at the Naval Research Laboratory
Published on Jul 16, 2012 by USNRL
The Naval Research Laboratory's 5,000 square foot Materials Testing Facility (MTF) houses a "scaled-for-laboratory," 6-meter Electromagnetic Railgun.
A railgun consists of a power supply that drives current through a pair of conductors or rails to accelerate a projectile to high velocity.
MTF demonstrated, October 31, 2011, the one-thousandth successful firing of its Electromagnetic Railgun, reaching a materials testing milestone in the weapon's technological development and future implementation aboard U.S. Navy warships.
Many of the 1000 shots have been designed to test different barrel designs and to quantify damage generated during high power launch. The innovations and understanding generated by NRL's science and technology program have been fed directly into the Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic Railgun program and transferred to full-scale tests conducted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Va.