This paper describes a new concept for propelling a projectile to hypervelocities and demonstrates the feasibility by numerical simulations. The concept employs imploding blast waves to accelerate a projectile which travels down a launch tube. The launch tube can be open to the atmosphere or sealed and maintained at some low pressure to minimize drag. The launch tube has a liner that contains a suitable explosive or energetic material. The explosive is configured with inert annular rings so as to prevent upstream detonation. A suitable trigger detonates each explosive ring sequentially as the projectile passes. The resulting blast wave causes an elevated pressure on the aft-end of the projectile. The acceleration continues until the projectile leaves the tube. In theory, launch velocities exceeding 6 km/s are possible.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| February 02 2001
The blast wave accelerator—feasibility study
AIP Conf. Proc. 552, 589–598 (2001)
Dennis Wilson, Zhiqiang Tan; The blast wave accelerator—feasibility study. AIP Conf. Proc. 2 February 2001; 552 (1): 589–598. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1357981
Download citation file: