New - Office of Naval Research Electromagnetic Railgun Program Commissioning
Test of BAE built railgun at NSWC Dahlgren, Also available in high
A railgun is an electrically powered artillery gun that accelerates a conductive projectile along electromagnetic rails, using the same principles as the homopolar motor. Railguns use (two) sliding or rolling contacts that permit a large electric current to pass through the projectile. This current interacts with the strong magnetic fields generated by the rails and this accelerates the projectile.
Particular characteristics are the lack of propellant (only the projectile and the electrical energy to launch it are required), and the ability to launch projectiles much faster than firearms technology allows.
Railguns have long existed as experimental technology. However, in recent years, they have become feasible military technology. For example, in the late 2000s, the U.S. Navy tested a railgun that accelerates a 3.2 kg (7 pound) projectile to approximately 2.4 kilometres per second (5,400 mph). They gave the project the Latin motto "Velocitas Eradico," which they translate as "speed I kill". The motto is currently under debate in the railgun community and among Latin scholars. 
Apart from military applications, railguns have been proposed to launch spacecraft into orbit. However, unless the launching track was particularly long, and the acceleration required spread over a much longer time, such launches would necessarily be restricted to unmanned spacecraft.
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By: the demon
In: Science and Technology
Tags: Dahlgren, Virginia, rail, gun, rail gun, the demon, technology, test, Navay, Naval, Electromagnetic, science
Location: Dahlgren, Virginia, United States (load item map)
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