Laser Ignition in a Medium-Caliber Gun: A Study of Igniter Influence on Action Time

Report No. ARL-TR-1864
Authors: Beyer, Richard A.; Hirlinger, John M.
Date/Pages: January 1999; 34 pages
Abstract: Laboratory experiments and 30-mm-caliber gun tests have been pursued in order to explore the action time of the M230 gun using laser ignition. The laboratory tests explored the response of black powder (BP) to energy levels from 0.2 to 0.5 J. Tests with class 5 and class 7 BP show that response will probably not be fast enough to use BP as the primary initiator for this gun unless more laser energy is available. The limitation is in the time required for initial laser ignition of the BP. In the gun tests, pyrotechnic materials were also used and showed excellent response times well under the 4-ms requirement. Those tested include perchlorates and would not be acceptable for gun use. Several possible cartridge igniter configurations were tested. Low-cost windows were successfully demonstrated.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 1999