Hydrogen pellet acceleration with a two-Stage system consisting of a gas gun and a fuseless electromagnetic railgun

J. Honig, Kyekyoon Kim, S. W. Wedge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hydrogen pellets are successfully accelerated for the first time using a two-stage system consisting of a pneumatic gun and an electromagnetic railgun. The pneumatic gun preaccelerator forms cylindrical hydrogen ice pellets (1.6-mm diam X 2.15-mm long) and accelerates them with high-pressure helium gas to velocities in excess of 500 m/s. The booster accelerator, which is a fuseless, circular-bore electromagnetic railgun, derives its propulsive force from a plasma arc armature. The plasma arc armature is formed by electrically breaking down the propellant gas which follows the pellet from the gas gun into the railgun. The diagnostics are for the monitoring of the main capacitor bank and rail currents, for the pellet detection and velocity measurements at the breech and muzzle ends of the railgun, for the recording of the plasma-arc-armature movement inside the railgun bore, and for the photographing of the hydrogen pellet exiting the railgun. Using the system, which is a 60-cm long proof-of-principle machine for refueling magnetic fusion devices, hyrogen pellet velocities exceeding 1 km/s have been achieved for pellets exiting the gas gun at velocities of ~ 500 m/s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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