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What Is A Rail Gun

    A Railgun is composed of two metal rails that are aligned in parallel (hence its name) and connected together by a source of electric power. A railgun comprises a pair of parallel conductor rails, on which the sliding armature is accelerated through the electromagnetic effects of current flowing down one rail, to the armature, then back up along the other rail. A railgun is a type of electromagnetic electrically powered bullet-launcher that is based on a similar principle as the homopolar motor.

    By design, railguns are intended to be some of the worlds most powerful projectile launchers. While impressive, railguns have been eclipsed by other weapons, especially the Hypersonics.

    One of the biggest advantages military railguns offer is their lower projectile costs. Railguns have the potential to deliver effective weapons for far less cost than smart bombs and missiles. Electromagnetic railgun technology was also promising for air and missile defense, as it had the potential to drastically alter the cost equation, noted Peter V. Singer, an expert on military technology at New America, a think tank in Washington, DC. Not only might their railgun be far more practical than that of the U.S. Navy, it would launch bullets with higher speeds and greater range, according to reports from Chinese researchers.

    The electromagnetic railgun is designed to fire projectiles toward its targets at speeds orders of magnitude higher than the speed of sound. A railgun is a linear engined device, usually designed for weaponry, which uses electromagnetic forces to fire projectiles at high speeds. A plasma railgun is a linear accelerator and a weapon of plasma energy, that, similar to the railgun with a projectile, uses two parallel, long electrodes to accelerate a slid, short-arm structure.

    An electromagnetic railgun, while forgoing the use of a traditional explosive for firing the projectile, uses instead incredibly high-powered electrical circuitry for firing the bullet. The harness makes the railgun design more like a big electrical circuit than to a firearm. The rail — the reason Railgun gets its name — is a length of high-conductive metal that the current runs across in order to charge up a bullet. The electrons cause the railgun to act like an electromagnet, creating magnetic fields within a loop formed from the lengths of the two parallel metal rails to the location of the armature.

    Some railguns also employ powerful neodymium magnets, the field being perpendicular to the flow of electricity, to add to the projectiles strength. In railguns, magnetic forces are charged up until they reach critical levels, and are used to propel the projectile forwards with immense power. Railguns utilize the magnetic fields generated from electric currents to push the projectile back between the two tracks within the barrel. Railguns use magnetic fields generated by high electric currents to accelerate the bullet up to Mach 6, or 5,400 miles per hour.

    Using electrical power, railguns can shoot projectiles six to seven times faster than sound, creating enough energy to knock out targets. By firing smaller bullets at extremely high speeds, a railgun can produce an impact force equivalent or greater than that produced by a 5/54-caliber naval gun, a Mark 45, which can reach 10MJ at the muzzle, but at greater range. With larger flows, railguns are capable of producing greater acceleration, and therefore higher velocities, at the muzzle, without the dangers associated with the chemical explosive charges used in conventional firearms.

    Assuming the numerous technical challenges facing field-proven railguns are overcome, including issues such as railgun bullet targeting, rail durability, combat survivability, and electrical energy source reliability, railguns increased firing speed could confer advantages over more conventional guns in various offensive and defensive scenarios. Proposal of an electromagnetic railgunRailguns have long been considered the holy grail of naval weapons, since the technology promises supersonic launch speeds without using conventional fuel. Rail guns are devices that propel a bullet more than 100 miles at supersonic speeds using electrical energy rather than chemical energy. A working railgun is a weapon that uses electrical power instead of gunpowder to propel a projectile across the range.

    Its Electromagnetic Railgun Development Program The Railgun appears to be winding down. The highly-touted electromagnetic railgun now will join other expensive, but never-realized weapons programs such as Future Combat Systems, the Comanche helicopter, and Next Generation Cruiser.

    Instead, the US Navy is moving forward with the navys offshoot, the electromagnetic railgun, which is a hypervelocity round capable of being fired by existing weapons systems. Task and Purpose reports that a working railgun is technically complete, but The U.S. Navy is also developing a technical offshoot, a hypervelocity projectile (HVP). That is more than enough electrical power for Navys electromagnetic railgun, and space after cuts leaves ships without conventional gun-based weapons.

    Regardless of which name is given by authors, railguns are always portrayed as projectile weapons, using electromagnetic energy to fire their bullets at an extremely high speed. A start-up called Arcflash Labs claims the $3 is the worlds first hand-held Gauss Rifle, a weapon that uses electromagnetic coils to accelerate projectiles at extremely high speeds, aka Railguns or Coilguns. Conduction rails are made from metals with conductivity, like copper, which are fed massive amounts of power — with one side being positive, the other being negative — to push an armature through the magnetic forces at incredibly fast speeds and over great distances. Since a joule is equal to one watt per second, 25 megajoules means that, in order for a railgun to fire its bullet, it needs a power source equal to 25 megawatts per second.

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