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Design of a Two-Stage Light Gas Gun for Muzzle Velocities of 10 - 11 kmsSpace debris poses a major risk to spacecraft. In low earth orbit, impact velocities can be 10 11 kms and as high as 15 kms. For debris shield design, it would be desirable to be able to launch controlled shape projectiles to these velocities. The design of the proposed 10 11 kmsec gun uses, as a starting point, the Ames 1.280.22 two stage gun, which has achieved muzzle velocities of 10 11.3 kmsec. That gun is scaled up to a 0.3125 launch tube diameter. The gun is then optimized with respect to maximum pressures by varying the pump tube length to diameter ratio (LD), the piston mass and the hydrogen pressure. A pump tube LD of 36.4 is selected giving the best overall performance. Piezometric ratios for the optimized guns are found to be 2.3, much more favorable than for more traditional two stage light gas guns, which range from 4 to 6. The maximum powder chamber pressures are 20 to 30 ksi. To reduce maximum pressures, the desirable range of the included angle of the cone of the high pressure coupling is found to be 7.3 to 14.6 degrees. Lowering the break valve rupture pressure is found to lower the maximum projectile base pressure, but to raise the maximum gun pressure. For the optimized gun with a pump tube LD of 36.4, increasing the muzzle velocity by decreasing the projectile mass and increasing the powder loads is studied. It appears that saboted spheres could be launched to 10.25 and possibly as high as 10.7 10.8 kmsec, and that disc-like plastic models could be launched to 11.05 kms. The use of a tantalum liner to greatly reduce bore erosion and increase muzzle velocity is discussed. With a tantalum liner, CFD code calculations predict muzzle velocities as high as 12 to 13 kms.
Document ID
Document Type
Bogdanoff, David W. (Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
October 4, 2016
Publication Date
October 2, 2016
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting of Aeroballistic Range Association(Toledo)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Gun Design
Balllistic Range
Maximum velocity gun

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