“Getting high speeds is difficult. Our task is to obtain systems with high pressures and explore the Universe with their help. The second task is to protect against high-speed space bodies that pose a threat to us, including space debris, comets and so on. The next task is to put satellites into Earth orbit, ”said Vladimir Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“Railguns are special devices that can accelerate objects to ultra-high speeds due to the strength of electricity and magnetic fields. As a rule, it is a set of several parallel conductors, the so-called rails, through which an ultrahigh-power current is passed. If these rails are touched by a conductor, then the Lorentz force will push and accelerate it to ultrahigh speeds that are inaccessible to powder arms“- he explained.
The scientist noted that “achieving such speeds requires such high currents and energies that all components of the railgun quickly wear out and fail, so the main task now is to find materials that could withstand such loads and ways to protect them from wear.”
It is reported that "during the demo launch of the accelerator, the speed was reached in 3,2 kilometers per second." This result Forts called "a good indicator."
According to the scientist, "the railgun, temporarily out of service after the first" shot ", will be repaired this evening (July 12)."
“The development and further study of how such electromagnetic accelerators work will help not only to bring cargo into space and destroy dangerous objects when they approach the Earth, but also to reveal the deeper secrets of the Universe — how plasma behaves in space, how it originates and the stars are dying, ”he said.
In addition, “studying how plasma behaves inside railguns will help physicists tame thermonuclear energy, with which scientists today have great difficulties in the framework of ITER and NIF projects,” Forts added.
According to representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, railguns "are today considered the basis for the creation of new weapon systems and means of putting cargo into orbit." For example, “The US Navy is seriously working on the development of cannons based on the railgun from the middle of 2000, when the first prototypes of such systems were demonstrated that will be installed on destroyers of the new generation.”
Russian scientists are also engaged in the development of railguns, both military and space.