Military Embedded Systems

General Atomics tests hypersonic railgun projectiles


May 12, 2017

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

General Atomics tests hypersonic railgun projectiles
Image courtesy General Atomics

SAN DIEGO. General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that it has successfully tested hypersonic projectiles with an enhanced guidance electronics unit (GEU) during multiple firings from its three megajoule (3 MJ) Blitzer railgun system.

The enhanced GEU -- which operates using a new battery configuration and the GA-EMS-developed guidance/navigation/control software -- completed testing at launch accelerations over 30,000 Gees [accelerations greater than 30,000 times that of gravity] at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The GEU tests also successfully demonstrated a continuous two-way data link between the in-flight projectiles and the ground station over the Dugway Proving Ground open range.

In addition to the GEU, GA-EMS also tested a new lightweight composite sabot (positioning device that falls away when the projectile is shot); the company said that it demonstrated successful sabot separation and in-bore structural integrity at the high acceleration levels.

GA-EMS recently announced that it had completed development on its High Energy Pulsed Power Container (HEPPC), which provides twice the energy density of existing pulsed power systems. The HEPPC is aimed at shrinking the footprint for pulsed power required to launch projectiles, thereby giving future Navy and Army railgun applications additional flexibility.




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