Military Review

Weapons of a very distant future. Part of 1. Gauss Cannon and Railgun

Already, probably, for 50 years, everyone has been saying that the age of gunpowder has come to an end, and then the gunshot weapon can no longer develop. Despite the fact that I absolutely disagree with this statement, and I believe that modern firearms, or rather, ammunition, still have room to grow and improve, I cannot ignore attempts to replace gunpowder and the usual principle of weapon operation. It is clear that so far much of what was invented is simply impossible, mainly due to the lack of a compact source of electric current or due to the complexity of production and maintenance, but at the same time many interesting projects are waiting for their time.

Gauss Cannon

I would like to start with this sample for the reason that it is fairly simple, well, and because there is also my own little experience in trying to create such a weapon, and I must say, not the most unsuccessful.

Personally, I first learned about this sample of weapons not from the Stalker game, although it is thanks to her that millions know about this weapon, and not even from the Fallout game, but from literature, but from UT magazine. The Gauss gun presented in the magazine was the most primitive and positioned as a child's toy. Thus, the “weapon” itself consisted of a plastic tube with a coil of copper wire wound around it, which played the role of an electromagnet when an electric current was applied to it. A metal ball was inserted into the tube, which, when energized, sought to attract the electromagnet. So that the ball does not “freeze” in the electromagnet, the current supply was short-term, from the electrolytic capacitor. Thus, the ball accelerated to the electromagnet, and then when the electromagnet turned off, it flew by itself. An electronic target was offered to all of this, but we will not slip into the topic of what was previously interesting, useful and, most importantly, sought-after literature.

Actually, the device described above is the simplest Gauss gun, but it is natural that such a device clearly cannot be a weapon, except with a very large and powerful single electromagnet. To achieve acceptable speed missile projectile, you must use, if I may say so, a stepped acceleration system, that is, several electromagnets must be installed on the barrel one by one. The main problem in creating such a device at home is the synchronization of the work of electromagnets, since the speed of the projectile is directly dependent on this. Although straight arms, a soldering iron and an attic or a dacha with old TVs, tape recorders, record players and no difficulties are terrible. At the moment, running my eyes through the sites where people demonstrate their creativity, I noticed that almost everyone has coils of electromagnets on the trunk itself, roughly speaking, simply coils it. Judging by the results of tests of such samples, such weapons did not go far from the current publicly available pneumatics in terms of efficiency, but they are quite suitable for entertaining firing.

Actually, the question that torments everyone the coils on the barrel is the most troubling for me, it would be much more efficient to use electromagnets with cores that would be sent by these same cores to the trunk. Thus, it is possible to place, say, 6 electromagnets on a square that was previously occupied by one electromagnet, respectively, this will give a greater increase to the velocity of the projectile being thrown. Several sections of such electromagnets along the entire length of the barrel will be able to disperse a small piece of steel to decent speeds, although the installation will weigh a lot even without a current source. For some reason, everybody tries and calculates the time of discharge of the capacitor that feeds the coil, in order to coordinate the coils with each other, so that they can accelerate the projectile, rather than slow it down. I agree, sit down and count the lesson is very interesting, in general, physics and mathematics are wonderful sciences, but why not reconcile the coils using photos and LEDs and the simplest scheme, it seems there is not much of a deficit and you can get the necessary details for a reasonable fee, although you can count cheaper. Well, the power supply is an electrical network, a transformer, a diode bridge and several electrolytic capacitors connected in parallel. But even with such a monster weighing a kilogram under 20 without an autonomous source of electric current, it is unlikely to achieve impressive results, although depending on who has some impressionability. And no, no, no, I didn’t do anything of the kind (with my head down, I drove my foot in the slipper on the floor), I only made that toy from UT with one coil.

Weapons of a very distant future. Part of 1. Gauss Cannon and RailgunIn general, even when used as a stationary weapon, say the same machine gun to protect an object that does not change its location, such a weapon will be quite expensive, and most importantly heavy and not the most effective, unless of course we are talking about reasonable dimensions, and not about a monster with a five-meter trunk. On the other hand, a very high theoretical rate of fire and ammunition at the price of a penny for half a ton, well, they look very attractive.

Thus, the main problem for the Gauss gun is that electromagnets are heavy, and, as always, a source of electrical current is required. In general, no one is developing weapons based on the Gauss gun, there is a project for launching small satellites, but it is rather theoretical and has not been developed for a long time. Interest in the Gauss gun is maintained only thanks to cinema and computer games, and even enthusiasts who love to work with their heads and hands, which in our time, unfortunately, are not so many. For weapons, there is a more practical device that consumes electric current, although it is possible to argue about practicality here, but unlike the Gauss gun, there are certain improvements.

RailGun or in our Railsron

This weapon is no less known than the Gauss cannon, for which you need to say thanks to computer games and cinema, though if everyone who is interested in this type of weapon is familiar with the principle of the Gauss cannon, then we don’t understand everything with the railgun. Let's try to figure out what this beast is he works and what are his prospects.

It all started back in the distant 1920 year, it was this year that a patent was obtained for this type of weapon, and no one had planned to use the invention for peaceful purposes. The author of the relsotron, or the more famous reilgan, is a Frenchman - Andre Louis-Octave Fauchon Vieple. Despite the fact that the designer managed to achieve some success in defeating enemy personnel, no one became interested in his invention, the construction was very cumbersome, and the result was so-so and quite comparable with firearms. Thus, for nearly twenty years, the invention was abandoned, until a country was found that allowed itself to spend enormous funds for the development of science, and especially that part of science that could kill. This is about fascist Germany. It was there that the French invention became interested in Joachim Hensler. Under the guidance of the scientist, a much more efficient installation was created that was only two meters long, but accelerated the projectile to a speed of more than 1200 meters per second, although the projectile itself was made of aluminum alloy and had a weight of 10 grams. Nevertheless, this was more than enough for firing, both in terms of enemy manpower and in unarmored vehicles. In particular, the designer positioned his development as a means of combating air targets. The higher speed of the missile projectile, in comparison with firearms, made the work of the designer very promising, since it was much easier to fire at moving, and constantly moving, targets. However, the design required further development and the designer did a lot of work to improve this sample, slightly changing the initial principle of its work.

In the first sample, everything was more or less clear and there was nothing fantastic. There were two rails that were the “barrel” of the weapon. Between them fit the projectile itself, which was made of an electric current passing material, as a result, when current was applied to the rails, under the influence of Lorentz’s force, the projectile aimed forward and under ideal conditions, which, of course, never achieved, its speed could approach the speed of light. Since there were many factors that prevented disperse the sweeping projectile to such speeds, the designer decided to get rid of some of them. The main achievement was the fact that in the last workings the projectile that was no longer tossed closed the circuit, did the electric arc behind the projectile that was propelled, this solution itself is still used, only being improved. Thus, the designer managed to get closer to the speed of the projectile missile speed equal to 3 kilometers per second, in it was 1944 year of the last century. Fortunately, the designer did not have enough time to complete his work and solve the problems that the weapons had, and there were a lot of them. And so much is not enough that they pushed this development to the Americans and did not carry out work in this direction in the Soviet Union. Only in the seventies, we began to develop these weapons with us and at the moment we, unfortunately, are lagging behind, well, at least according to publicly available data. In the US, they have already reached speed in 7,5 kilometers per second and are not going to stop. Work is currently underway in the direction of development of the railgun as an anti-aircraft defense, so that as a handgun the railgun is still fiction or a very distant future.

The main problem of the railgun is that to achieve maximum efficiency, you need to use rails with very little resistance. At the moment, they are covered with silver, which seems to be not so costly in financial terms, but given the fact that the “barrel” of a weapon is not at all one or two meters long, these are already substantial costs. In addition, after several shots, the rails need to be changed and repaired, that money, and the rate of fire of such weapons remain very low. In addition, do not forget that the rails themselves are trying to push off from each other under the influence of all the same forces that accelerate the missile projectile. For this reason, the structure must have sufficient strength, but at the same time the rails themselves must be able to be replaced quickly. But this is not the main problem. A huge amount of energy is required for a shot, so one car battery cannot get off the back, more powerful sources of electric current are needed here, which puts the mobility of such a system in question. So in the US they plan to install similar installations on destroyers, and they are already talking about automating the delivery of missiles, cooling and other amenities of civilization. At the moment, the claimed range of ground targets is 180 kilometers, while the air is silent. Our designers have not yet decided where they will apply their work. However, from scraps of information, it can be concluded that the railgun will not be used as an independent weapon, but the railgun has good prospects as a means that complements the existing long-range weapons, allowing you to add significantly the desired pair of hundreds of meters per second to the velocity of the projectile. and the cost of such development will be much lower than any megapushkas on their own ships.

It only remains to be asked whether we should be considered lagging behind in this matter, because usually what works is badly tried to promote in all possible ways “Schaub mustache was afraid”, but what is really effective, but its time has not come, is locked with seven locks . Well, at least you want to believe it.
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  1. redwolf_13
    redwolf_13 April 25 2013 08: 35
    This, of course, is all funny and beautiful on the one hand, but on the other hand, EMR has not been canceled. A surge of ladies when firing be healthy means you need to screen and not weakly. And this is the weight and consumption of the necessary materials. It turns out a dead-born animal. Although the materials slipped at the end of perestroika, the development of the latest ammunition at the Novosibirsk Scientific Research Institute. Where were the projectile or rocket connected with the railgun inside. Allegedly, at the moment of contact between the warhead and the armor or another surface, the power unit was launched on (I don’t know what) and the railatron was triggered. The nucleus fired at 2 cosmic speeds. I don’t know if it’s true or the journalist’s sore brain came up with something, but they showed me clippings from reputable magazines.
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 25 2013 09: 10
      Still on the ZIL-131 protection against EMP is, and in what year did the machine go into production?
      1. redwolf_13
        redwolf_13 April 25 2013 09: 24
        Funny smile about the defense on ZIL. Is that let me guess the disconnection of the earth or the armored wire ???. But they did not hear about the physiological effects of electromagnetic radiation. So at high rates it is like radiation exposure. When using depleted uranium, they also smiled a lot, as well as when using high-frequency radiation. Yes, only then soldiers paid dearly and mothers cried.
    2. postman
      postman April 25 2013 21: 53
      Quote: redwolf_13
      but with another EMI, no one has canceled.

      And where does the EMP?
      For railgun anyway? (and in P. Gausa it (EMP) will not be)
      S. Lawrence acts on point charged particle.
      1. Dim Dim
        Dim Dim April 25 2013 22: 58
        Radiation will occur at the time of arc termination, but we have not yet learned how to generate such power that this radiation threatens any biological objects on our planet. Of course, there may be eccentrics who decide to spend their whole lives sitting astride this railgun, but they will be more threatened with hemorrhoids. And they began to protect electronics and electricians from him almost immediately after studying the consequences of the first atomic explosions. During the service, I saw such protection on ZIL 157 (several decades earlier than on ZIL 131). There, all the wiring, and especially the high-voltage, was closed by armored screens.
        1. postman
          postman April 26 2013 00: 04
          Quote: DimDim
          but of such power

          Everything will be limited to 10cm from the rails. SEE fields (distribution, Unidirectional, energy density)
          Reference: the generator has a kinetics of 10 mJ.
          "people" just don't understand the hu from EMP

          Quote: DimDim
          During the service, I saw such protection on ZIL 157 (several decades earlier than on ZIL 131).

          I saw protection from EMR on:
          Bundeswehr Field Hospital (Siemens equipment)
          by radio communication machines (Puch and Steuer)
          BEFORE export permission is granted (everything is controlled by Zoll)
      2. Alex
        Alex 22 September 2013 17: 55
        Quote: Postman (3)
        S. Lawrence acts on point charged particle.

        In this case, we are talking about the Ampere force, which is a manifestation of the Lorentz force in the macro-body.
  2. VohaAhov
    VohaAhov April 25 2013 08: 52
    Thanks to the author. He explained everything clearly, clearly and easily. Everything is clear, as after reading the magazine "Young Technician"
  3. Bykov.
    Bykov. April 25 2013 09: 04
    Yes, energy is spent a lot on one shot, it’s scary to even guess how much it will cost to fire a burst :-))))
  4. AK-47
    AK-47 April 25 2013 09: 11
    In modern artillery systems, the energy of the shot is accumulated in the charge and this is the most optimal option, any other solution to moving the projectile a step backward.
    I think that such acceleration devices do not have the slightest practical prospect.
    To the author plus for interesting material.
    1. Argon
      Argon April 25 2013 14: 35
      It is very good that they do not share your opinion at the RAS and the Moscow Region
  5. Gorko
    Gorko April 25 2013 09: 24
    I think that such acceleration devices do not have the slightest practical prospect.

    They have and how, only the time has not come yet !!!
    By 2018, the first water tests are planned. By 2020, these guns should go into service with the Zamvolt type destroyers under construction in the United States, their modular design and electric transmission were calculated taking into account promising EM weapons. By 2025, it is planned to achieve muzzle energy of 64 MJ.
    1. viktorR
      viktorR April 25 2013 15: 52
      If we take into account that for a house 5% of the power of a charge is transferred to a projectile, this is an unattainable dream, I can imagine that there even 1,3 gigajoules would be accumulated and discharged into the shot for the capacitors.
  6. bazilio
    bazilio April 25 2013 09: 30
    Thanks to the author for the article.

    The dimensions and energy costs are impressive. But alongside EM guns there are also lasers. There are achievements in this area too, although again everything depends on the size and amount of energy consumed.
    1. scrabler
      April 25 2013 09: 36
      Thank you, this is not the final yet, there will be a lot of interesting things considered in the following articles. This is so for the seed, for example, that everyone knows wink
      1. bazilio
        bazilio April 25 2013 12: 11
        Quote: scrabler
        there will be a lot of interesting things discussed in the following articles.

        about lasers and other interesting things you will also argue
        "And no no no, I didn’t do anything like that (lowering my head, driving my foot on the floor in a slipper), I just made that toy from UT with one coil. " laughing
        1. scrabler
          April 25 2013 12: 24
          Well, there is a little harder wink But I did not do anything laughing
  7. LaGlobal
    LaGlobal April 25 2013 09: 41
    It is necessary to MORE create educational platforms, institutes, laboratories for our scientists and pay more than worthy satisfaction! And then these comrades will not only make the 10th iPhone, and anything else. Yes, the Gauss gun from the game STALKER.

    And then tremble the United States.

    And the article itself, counts on my (+) drinks because I found it interesting enough. According to this, I made such conclusions))
  8. Evgeny_Lev
    Evgeny_Lev April 25 2013 10: 07
    But is it really impossible to use a projectile as an energy source, which in essence will be an electromagnetic bomb? Those. when such a projectile is fed into the barrel, the circuit will be closed, after the initiation of a relatively small number of explosives, on the principle of an EM bomb, currents of large quantities will be induced for a short time, which will feed the relston along the circuit. After the shot, the used projectile, as in an ordinary artillery gun, is thrown away, and a new one takes its place.
    *** I'm interested in knowledgeable ones, is it possible or not?
    1. Turkish Granite
      Turkish Granite April 25 2013 11: 55
      It seems unlikely to me - the EMP of non-nuclear ammunition is too short-lived: of the order of several nanoseconds. The shell will not have time to accelerate to the required speed.
      1. Evgeny_Lev
        Evgeny_Lev April 25 2013 12: 00
        Is it enough to charge capacitors?
    2. alean245
      alean245 April 25 2013 14: 10
      It is possible. There are so-called explosive current generators. However, even a successful solution to the problem of a compact energy source does not remove the main drawbacks of railguns and Gauss accelerators - low efficiency and large dimensions. However, the technique does not stand still and in years so in 15-20 more perfect samples with acceptable characteristics may appear.
    3. Argon
      Argon April 25 2013 14: 57
      Well, not quite so, but it appeared in 82g, it is called an explosion generator, for different powers of different dimensions, it looks like a fuse for a single substation. The source is disposable. The required power is fully achieved, at this stage there are problems in the "cleaning" of the received pulse, its division, so that they have time to charge capacitor banks But everything is solvable, there is a theoretical justification.
  9. Turkish Granite
    Turkish Granite April 25 2013 12: 03
    If interested about non-nuclear AMP ammunition. Found on the net, will offer to download a pdf file - an article. Checked, nothing malicious with the article does not enter.
    1. scrabler
      April 25 2013 19: 38
      But for this file many thanks smile
  10. Mohomax
    Mohomax April 25 2013 12: 20
    it would be interesting to see what people have achieved in creating such weapons in 50 years
  11. shinobi
    shinobi April 25 2013 14: 07
    The railgun that we have with Amers is sharpened for future wars. When firing on the ground-to-ground type, this device showed disgusting accuracy at distances of more than 100 km, inferior even to the German Fau-2 with a much greater destructive power of the latter. . And here’s how the calculations of firing space-to-surface promise it will be the most. Satellites with this gun hang in space and scoff at the ground infrastructure. How it will look good is shown in the Capture movie. And at the same time the international agreement on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in space is gracefully .
    PS: And PR for the sake of additional denyuzhki for further development, and of course to cut it. Where would it be without it.
  12. jury08
    jury08 April 25 2013 16: 37
    The article is amateurish! I saw a report on Russian news showing a laboratory in which a plastic plate was punched with a plastic !!!!!! bullet! The whole problem is the accumulation and instantaneous return of electric energy, that is, the bulkiness of this equipment!
    1. scrabler
      April 25 2013 18: 54
      heh ... well, since I'm an amateur and can't compare the results, then let the people compare wink
      This is your report:

      And this is the United States zabubenili:

      One thing pleases that ours can not reveal true results, but show the weakest pukalka smile
      1. Alex
        Alex 22 September 2013 20: 34
        Both our REN-TV and their Discovery are well-known manufacturers of spaghetti.
        The temperature is 20 times higher, hm on the surface of the Sun - this is 120000 degrees, a sort of dwarf blue giant ...
        It's funny to listen.

        Speed ​​in 10 km / s. Let's just compare. The spacecraft, leaving the orbit at a speed of about 8 km / s, when entering the layers of a very rarefied atmosphere at those altitudes, experiences such heat loads that this was one of the problems when designing the returned vehicles. And sometimes, on the contrary - this property is used for their self-destruction. Here, a miniature plastic bullet when moving in the most dense layers of air does not experience any thermal effects. But at that speed, in combination with its meager weight, it should have already turned into a jelly, if not a spit, then in ten meters or two.
        And this despite the fact that at such speeds the air does not behave like a void. The speed of the bullet will fall with catastrophic speed (exponentially) and the point will be zilch.

        The third.
        With a hard impact, all the energy of a moving body will somehow turn into heat, and the body itself (or what remains of it) will heat up. Plastic after such a hot hug with metal in every sense should leave at least some trace on its torn edges. But ... he's gone. Mysticism, gentlemen. Or sleight of hand and the wonders of cinematography.

        In short, according to Stanislavsky - "I do not believe!"
    2. sniper
      sniper April 25 2013 22: 52
      Quote: jury08
      The article is amateurish!

      Thank you for explaining everything so clearly !!! laughing It is a pity that secrecy does not allow you to share professional data ... and die in ignorance ....
      scrabler Cyril, as an amateur from an amateur, take a huge plus! Thanks for the article, buddy !!! drinks
  13. USNik
    USNik April 25 2013 16: 57
    much of what was invented is simply impossible, mainly due to the lack of a compact source of electric current

    There you go! American scientists have come up with everything yes
    The new lithium-ion battery is 2 thousand times more powerful and charges a thousand times faster
    (PS Comments are "more informative" than the article itself laughing )
  14. Ch0sen1
    Ch0sen1 April 25 2013 17: 06
    Everything flows, everything changes, who, apart from science fiction writers, could have imagined half a century ago that in their pockets they will carry telephones that were superior in computing power to the computers that took up a bunch of cubic meters. They will ever invent new materials, new sources of energy and arm the army with house rifles soldier
    Although maybe all the energy will go to the invention of the N-th iPhone wink
    1. Alex
      Alex 22 September 2013 20: 38
      Will ever invent new materials, new sources of energy

      That's just about the law of conservation of this very energy do not forget. However, science fiction is possible. But not to scientists.
  15. anomalocaris
    anomalocaris April 25 2013 17: 53
    Article plus.
    On their own on Earth and in the atmosphere, such devices are of little use, the efficiency is too low. Only in space.
  16. anomalocaris
    anomalocaris April 25 2013 17: 56
    All this is great. But the efficiency of these devices is too low, and in terms of capabilities they do not exceed the classic defeat systems. But in space ...
  17. uzer 13
    uzer 13 April 25 2013 19: 08
    The main thing in this business is an energy source, compact and powerful. But modern technologies do not allow it to be created. New ideas are needed.
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 9 August 2013 00: 24
      You forgot about one very important problem. What you call powerful has a limit. Like a screw or a propeller or a turbine have their rotation limits. In other words, you cannot create a static energy source that will exceed the balance of its polarization with email. the magnetic field of the outer space. It will happen, by a simple breakdown. BUT! it is possible to create orders of magnitude higher magnetic flux density using the energy or potential of this external medium itself.
  18. crambol
    crambol April 25 2013 20: 12
    The author is a big merci. This is very interesting, especially for engineers and designers. Maybe something accumulate for the good of the cause. I want to add from myself that a similar system could be used to study the impact of meteorites on structural materials.
  19. jagdpanzer
    jagdpanzer April 27 2013 20: 16
    eh Young Technician .. once I had his stacks crying
    1. brr7710
      brr7710 9 June 2013 07: 41
      Quote: jagdpanzer
      eh Young Technician .. once I had his stacks crying

      I have too, and now ... the children have one COOL, Teenage Mutant Nijia Turtles, and Spider-Man, etc.
      1. Alex
        Alex 22 September 2013 20: 42

        Quote: jagdpanzer
        eh Young Technician .. once I had his stacks

        I have too, and now ... the children have one COOL, Teenage Mutant Nijia Turtles, and Spider-Man, etc.

        But I saved! And UT, and TM, and those few MK numbers that were. Granddaughter grows up, let her read. Maybe a smarter generation of Pepsi will grow. I want to believe...
  20. gridasov
    gridasov 9 August 2013 00: 16
    And why the distant future? If you are smart enough to understand why a solenoid forms a reactive reaction and how to create a variable density of magnetic force flows, then everything will turn out very quickly.
    1. anomalocaris
      anomalocaris 9 August 2013 16: 26
      Well, if you know how to get a magnetic monopole. or you know where the gravitational dipole is, then I (and all sane physicists of the world) have no objections.