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Rail guns

tvtech

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Huge electrical energy needed to propel the warhead. But, once going ship that launched it has no worries of having their armoury attacked.

Rail guns been in video games since 2001. Now it's getting real. :) :) :)
 

rjenkinsgb

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They have been real a lot longer than that - I remember reading about a design powered by a homopolar generator when I was at school..

Looking on Wikipedia, the generator was built in the 60s and the railgun in the early 70s. It refers to this:
 

Reloadron

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I want one of those, no I need one of those.

Actually the same concept has been tossed around for the catapults on aircraft carriers. Think about it and how much fresh water is wasted for those steam cat shots. What if the sled was propelled using electro magnetic induction rather than steam pistons? Newer carriers are all designed with reactors capable of making the needed power.

Ron
 

Beau Schwabe

Active Member
"What if the sled was propelled using electro magnetic induction rather than steam pistons? " - Aside from the EMP pulse that would be surrounding the aircraft .... Errr ... Ummm... What could go wrong? ... I mean ... Sure, Why Not?
 

Reloadron

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They seem to have settled on the linear induction motor but the rail gun concept was also played around with in several ways. Yes, the focus on the Gerald Ford class and newer was larger reactors. Make more electricity was what was part of future plan. Also carriers like the Nimitz class were good for about 20 years before refueling while we were shooting for 40 years on the newer boats including the single reactor subs. The carriers have two.

Ron
 

gophert

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They seem to have settled on the linear induction motor but the rail gun concept was also played around with in several ways. Yes, the focus on the Gerald Ford class and newer was larger reactors. Make more electricity was what was part of future plan. Also carriers like the Nimitz class were good for about 20 years before refueling while we were shooting for 40 years on the newer boats including the single reactor subs. The carriers have two.

Ron
that sounds just like a government design. The Wikipedia article says the carrier has a 50-year designed lifetime - and now you say 20-years between refueling. Do they have to be topped off or can they ask for just a half-tank
 

Reloadron

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that sounds just like a government design. The Wikipedia article says the carrier has a 50-year designed lifetime - and now you say 20-years between refueling. Do they have to be topped off or can they ask for just a half-tank
Your neighbors down the road were key players in this, those guys around Pittsburgh. Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory is a key player in the game. Worked quite a bit with those guys as well as KAPL (Knolls in NY) and Oak Ridge in Tenn. The first nuclear carrier was the Enterprise CVN 65 and it was really an oddball even the original island structure but it was powered by eight small A2W (The A1W was the first prototype and never saw a ship) reactor plants similar to those used in the subs at the time. Then came CV66 and CV67 the Kennedy and America which were planned nuclear but with congress upset they ended up conventional. Then came the USS Nimitz the first of the super carrier Nimitz class and powered by two A4W (A = Aircraft Carrier 4 being the 4th generation of the reactor and W being Westinghouse the guys ultimately providing and delivering the end product.

The early initial carrier and sub reactor cores were designed for a 20 year life cycle. I know the Nimitz and Eisenhower have both had extended yard periods and been refueled. Sort of like a gas station before they outsourced pumping the gas and cleaning the bugs off the windshield. The rods and core material is replaced and if a newer and better reactor can be had the reactor is replaced. The USS Gerald Ford CVN 78 began the new class using the A1B Reactors and as far as carriers went those were the last reactor systems I worked with and for the carriers they were forecasting a 30 year to 40 year life cycle before refueling. I remember a large focus was placed on power generation and while a few prototypes were kicking around the requirement was based in part on electro catapults.

Since retiring in 2013 I never give that stuff much thought. :) I do know that BWXT my old parent just got another billion dollar contract and when I get my annual pension plan statements we are well funded so I am happy with that.

Ron

P.S. This damn spring / summer we will do lunch again!
 

sagor1

Active Member
I want one of those, no I need one of those.

Actually the same concept has been tossed around for the catapults on aircraft carriers. Think about it and how much fresh water is wasted for those steam cat shots. What if the sled was propelled using electro magnetic induction rather than steam pistons? Newer carriers are all designed with reactors capable of making the needed power.

Ron
Only issue may be that there may be a lot of EMP or RF interference with the avionics in the plane. Imaging launching the plane with a rail gun but all the electronics inside the plane crash or get fried...
 

Reloadron

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Only issue may be that there may be a lot of EMP or RF interference with the avionics in the plane. Imaging launching the plane with a rail gun but all the electronics inside the plane crash or get fried...
OK, with the issue of a huge magnetic pulse. They were last I knew looking at forms of linear induction motors. My best guess since I only heard chatter and was not involved with anything launch system related would be shielding since everything which makes the sled go is below the steel flight deck. The only reason I had heard anything remotely associated with it was because the new reactor designs called for more power generating capability. Things like how much EMP could kill avionics never crossed my mind or methods to contain it also never crossed my mind. Headaches were distributed equally. :)

I will say this about my career. While demanding, especially travel and living in some peculiar places I enjoyed it and had the pleasure of working with some people I really felt were among the best out there.

Ron
 

Nigel Goodwin

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OK, with the issue of a huge magnetic pulse. They were last I knew looking at forms of linear induction motors. My best guess since I only heard chatter and was not involved with anything launch system related would be shielding since everything which makes the sled go is below the steel flight deck. The only reason I had heard anything remotely associated with it was because the new reactor designs called for more power generating capability. Things like how much EMP could kill avionics never crossed my mind or methods to contain it also never crossed my mind. Headaches were distributed equally. :)
I wouldn't have thought EMP would be an issue, it takes an incredible amount of power to generate an effective EMP, usually a nuclear explosion, and a linear motor wouldn't generate a large pulse, more a series of 'small' pulses.

It sounds like you've had an interesting life though Ron :D
 

Reloadron

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It sounds like you've had an interesting life though Ron :D
Yes, interesting. Daughter born in North Carolina, US and son born in Naples, Italy. :)

Again though anything EMP was far from my areas the actual rail gun (back on topic) uses no shortage of electronics and seems to do just fine.

Ron
 

Nigel Goodwin

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Yes, interesting. Daughter born in North Carolina, US and son born in Naples, Italy. :)
I'm sure there must be a witty response there somewhere, but I couldn't think of one? :D

But forgetting that, was your son able to claim dual-citizenship?. An American friend of my daughter (from Uni) happened to be born in France, and has a French passport as well as an American one - came in useful to get on her Phd course (as you need a Visa to get on the course, and need to be on the course to get a Visa - so she popped out a French Passport, EU citizen straight-in, no problem). Her husband (who I think might be American as well?), is having more issues - as they moved to Belgium the other year (from Paris/France), and he works in the UK (Oxford University), so commutes over - and they took exception to weekly trips back and forth.

Last I heard they were looking in to getting him a Belgian passport and citizenship, so they were asked does he speak 'Belgian' (Flemish, French or whatever it is?), so they replied no - but he can do if you want him to :D So they obviously asked what they meant, to be told he's a language tutor at Oxford, and could learn the lanuage in a couple of weeks if they wanted him to :D (he speaks various languages, including ancient ones).

Again though anything EMP was far from my areas the actual rail gun (back on topic) uses no shortage of electronics and seems to do just fine.
Unfortunately EMP has been popularised in fiction, and many people seem to believe it's far easier than it is.
 

Reloadron

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Yes today he can. However at the time of Michael's birth in 1982 while Italy recognized dual citizenship the US did not. Not sure when that changed but apparently the US now recognizes dual citizenship. While Michael has a US passport he could bring all his birth certificate documents to the Italian Consulate in NY or Chicago and apply for and obtain an Italian passport. When he was a kid I would tell him he faced conscription into the Italian Army. :)

Ron
 

Nigel Goodwin

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Most Helpful Member
While Michael has a US passport he could bring all his birth certificate documents to the Italian Consulate in NY or Chicago and apply for and obtain an Italian passport. When he was a kid I would tell him he faced conscription into the Italian Army. :)
An old friend of mine, now sadly deceased, used to work for British Telecom - and was sent to France on a course, for a new computerised telephone exchange installed at the local County Offices. It was 'good and bad', he spoke French because his mother was French, but because of that he 'could' have been conscripted in the French army while he was there :D

My daughter lives in the Netherlands, is married to a Dutch guy (Mike - good Dutch name! :D ) and is currently waiting for Dutch citizenship, I think it takes five years resident there if you're married to a Dutch person. I've told her to make sure she keeps her English passport up to date as well (she can use our address), so you've got the best of both worlds. As we're currently in the process of leaving the EU, there will be extra checks on EU citizens coming here, and UK citizens going there - so she could show her EU passport leaving the Netherlands, and then show her UK passport entering the UK :D

If Michael is ever thinking of coming to Europe (although not the UK any more) it would certainly be useful if he had an EU passport - and to be fair, probably advantageous even to the UK?.
 

Reloadron

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During the early 80s when Michael was born we lived just north of Naples. Frequently we had to go out to US aircraft carriers while they were underway, fly on and fly off. Each day at sea we received an additional $100 and as long as we spent 11 of 12 months per year abroad all our income was tax free. While at sea we worked 12 on and 12 off 7 days a week and since the US Government would not pay over time we were given "comp" (compensation) time at a 1.5X rate for all hours over 40 in a week. When the checks would come in for travel we were gone. :) I remember using Air Italia Naples to London Heathrow was $69 USD and at that time the US dollar was strong. Life was good. :) Always loved going to GB then too, great people and great beer all in one trip.

Ron
 

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