This thesis examines a single-stage barrel-less electromagnetic induction launcher,
developed from an arrangement used previously for very high speed, low projectile mass
accelerators. The projectile is placed on top of the launch coil, rather than inside the
coil, as is more usually the case in both single and multi-stage launchers of this type.
The examination is undertaken both theoretically and experimentally, with extensive
experimental results being used to test the validity of the theoretical techniques used.
The theoretical examination of the launcher is based on two distinct mathematical
models, with results provided by the two approaches being compared. The first model
uses a 2D electromagnetic finite-element approach, and does not include projectile
motion or thermal effects. It is used to establish whether an analysis technique which
does not take into account the projectile dynamics is a valid design tool for a single-stage
launcher. The second model employs a coupled-circuit approach to take into
account both projectile motion and thermal effects, and is used to obtain an accurate
estimate of the overall launcher performance. With the aid of the two models the effects
of varying many different launcher parameters are examined, including the size and
shape of the stator coil and the size, shape and composition of the projectile.
The launcher investigation could be based on a number of criteria but here it is primarily
based on two; the highest average velocity over a given distance and the shortest time
required to travel a given distance from the initial stationary position.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.