J. Phys. IV France
Volume 10, Numéro PR11, November 2000
Fourth International Workshop on Ram Accelerators
Page(s) Pr11-185 - Pr11-195
Fourth International Workshop on Ram Accelerators

J. Phys. IV France 10 (2000) Pr11-185-Pr11-195

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20001119

Strategies to protect ram accelerator projectiles from in-tube gasdynamic heating

D.W. Bogdanoff

Eloret, Sunnyvale, California 94087, U.S.A.

A serious problem in advancing ram accelerator technology is the very high in-tube heat transfer rate to the projectile. Herein, we examine a number of strategies for protecting the projectile from gasdynamic heating. Radiation cooling of the projectile and flying the projectile through alternating regions of fuel-oxidizer-diluent drive gas and pure hydrogen are found to be totally unworkable. The ablative cooling technique has serious problems with a substantial retreat of the projectile surface. A transpiration cooling technique using liquid ammonia is calculated to provide adequate protection of the projectile for ram accelerator missions from 3 to 7 or 8 km/sec. Techniques for flying the projectile in pure hydrogen are also examined. One may have a vortex arrangement with a pure hydrogen core surrounded by a fuel-oxidizer-diluent mixture. The projectile may also fly in pure hydrogen while the driving energy is supplied by a deflagrating or detonating solid coating on the tube wall or by electrical energy input. The techniques for flying the projectile in pure hydrogen are judged to be extremely complex and expensive to implement. The transpiration technique appears to be the most viable way to protect projectiles flying in the 4 - 7 km/sec range.

© EDP Sciences 2000