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Название: Non-US Electrodynamic Launchers Research and Development
Авторы: Parker, Batteh, Greig
Electrodynamic launcher research and development work of scientists outside the United States is analyzed and assessed by six internationally recognized US experts in the field of electromagnetic and electrothermal launchers. The assessment covers five broad technology areas: (1) Experimental railguns; (2) Railgun theory and design; (3) Induction launchers; (4) Electrothermal guns; (5) Energy storage and power supplies. The overall conclusion is that non-US work on electrodynamic launchers is maturing rapidly after a relatively late start in many countries. Until recently, published Russian work focused on hypervelocity for research purposes. Electrodynamic launcher research in Europe is making rapid progress by focusing on a single application, tactical launchers for the military. Four major laboratories, in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, are working on this problem. Though narrower in scope than the US effort, the European work enjoys a continuity of support that has accelerated its progress. Portable power is still a critical weakness in the international effort to develop practical electrodynamic launch systems. Russia and the European nations are advancing the state of the art in component technologies like solid-state switches and high-energy-density capacitors. The European programs have only recently begun to address mobile power system issues that have been a major US concern. In some areas, European researchers have a clear superiority - for example, in numerical design codes for electromagnetic launchers in Britain and in laboratory diagnostics in several of the major European laboratories. The panel was unable to determine the scope of Chinese activity. One Chinese laboratory has reported a substantial effort, the stated purpose of which is the development of electromagnetic guns to accelerate long-rod penetrators. The next decade will see the deployment of electrodynamic launcher technology, probably in the form of an electrothermal-chemical upgrade for an existing gun system. The time scale for deployment of electromagnetic launchers is entirely dependent on the level of research-and-development effort. If resources remain limited, the advantage will lie with cooperative efforts that have reasonably stable funding such as the present French-German program.