Stefan Model of the Post-transition Plasma Environment Encountered in Solid Armature Railguns

Report No. ARL-TR-5112
Authors: Andrew J. Porwitzky
Date/Pages: March 2010; 22 pages
Abstract: Presented is a model for plasma generation in the post-transition interface for solid armature railguns. The model assumes that the plasma in the post-transition interface is generated by vaporization of armature material via thermal contact with the high temperature plasma, which is maintaining electrical conductivity. The model indicates that it is possible to generate sufficiently high mass loss rates from this method under the existing experimental conditions. However, the model results in armature wear patterns that are contradictory to what is seen in experiments. A brief look forward to arcing contact ablation models and the unique difficulties they face is also presented.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2010