Magnetically Accelerated Projectile Launcher (MAPL)

Thomas Melgaard, Callum Walton, John Eisenbacher, Gregory Van Roie, Charles Simon
Advisor: Dr. George Nehmetallah


Our project is a magnetically accelerated projectile launcher that uses a rail based launching system.  Current launchers have a very low efficiency; this project primarily focuses on improving the efficiency.  The launcher has two main parts: (1) a regenerative buck/boost pulse forming network circuit and (2) a rail based launching system.  This circuit functions as a variable, controllable power supply that has high supply efficiency across a wide range of conditions, and can also act as a regenerative system to collect some of the magnetic energy that is left in the rails.  The rails are made out of hardened copper, which resists corrosion and has high conductivity.  A mechanical launcher has been constructed to impart an initial velocity to the projectile, preventing the risk of a stationary projectile fusing to the rails.  These design elements contribute to the realization and testing of a small but scalable system.

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