Advanced Diagnostic Techniques for a Naval Electromagnetic Launcher
The nature of electromagnetic launchers requires operation in a harsh environment due to the large electromagnetic field, electrical current, temperature, and mechanical stresses present during a shot. This environment can significantly reduce the lifetime of the rails and therefore limits the military utility of the device. Increasing the lifetime of the rails while maintaining high launch velocities is a critical requirement for electromagnetic launcher development and is the focus of a number of ongoing research efforts. These efforts, however, are hindered by a lack of diagnostic capabilities to support the modeling and simulation needed to design better launchers. Diagnostics are a particular challenge for electromagnetic launchers for a number of reasons, including a lack of access to the interior of the launcher, electromagnetic interference with sensors that use electrical signals, and high temperature and mechanical stress conditions that make survivability of sensors an issue. The electromagnetic launcher modeling and simulation (M & S) community has identified a number of parameters that represent critical diagnostic capability shortfalls for electromagnetic launchers. The highest priority items on that list are temperature, magnetic fields, and stress measured with sufficient spatial and temporal resolution. During Phase I project, PhosphorTech successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using a high-speed and repeatable phosphor-based approach to measuring temperature up to 700 degrees C. The proposed Phase II work is based on further development of the technological innovation performed in Phase I and subsequent implementation on actual electromagnetic launchers.
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