The Navy just broke its own record for an awesomely powerful railgun, which can hurl a projectile hundreds of miles at superfast speeds without using explosives.
Today's 33-megajoule shot — powerful enough to launch 33 Smart cars at 100 mph — means the Navy can fire projectiles at least 125 miles, keeping military personnel at a safe distance from their targets, according to the Office of Naval Research.
Rather than using an explosion to fire a bullet, the futuristic weapon uses an electromagnetic current to accelerate a projectile to March 7.5. The video pretty much says it all.
The eventual goal is a ship-mounted railgun that can fire a projectile more than 200 miles at speeds of more than 8,000 feet per second. A kinetic energy warhead would eliminate the use of hazardous explosives on ships and on the battlefield, the Navy says.
Today's test beats the Navy's previous record, set in 2008. The old video is still pretty impressive.
Why can't I have one :(
Looks like a stargate.
the picture i mean. ;-)
@alias007 - I wish it were a Stargate :)
its still just as dangerous as a stargate. o.o
dont get caugt in the unstable vortex. except this one extends 200 miles.
it would be epic if the stargate franchise redid thier shows in 3-D so the unstable vortex really looks like its coming out at you. :)
god damn pop sci your expando-ads are really getting annoying... that being said, i want to see the ungodly cap bank this thing must use to store up that much juice for a 33MJ shot, got to be the size of a small house
ok so I understand that it uses electromagnets to launch the projectile but when the article says "A kinetic energy warhead would eliminate the use of hazardous explosives on ships and on the battlefield" does that mean that the projectile itself doesn't have any explosives either and just uses its own momentum/inertia/whateverthepropertermis to do damage???
indeed. there would be no need for explosives if you account for the shockwave and damage it could produce if designed right. i mean imagine having a 10 pound slug hit you at mach 8...gonna hurt.
as far as size of the capacitors etc, the battleships have more than enough space which is why this is practical. plus there is less space used for explosives, guns, bullets etc. though i thought the ships were nuclear powered.... lol
What is all that smoke and fire if it is electromagnetic?
there is smoke and fire because it is so fast that the friction ignites the air around it... i believe...
Could this be a way to get spacecraft into orbit without all the fuel?? Someone please answer.
@Brett- Yes, NASA has been exploring rail gun launchers for spacecraft for a long time, but up until now it has not been financially feasible. The December issue of PopSci magazine actually has an article on that very thing. NASA wants to use a railgun and scramjet to put things into orbit.
Get it mounted on a ship and get it in the fight!
wow i'm impressed. it takes skill to launch something to MARCH 7.5th!!! :D lol that made my day. anyway this is really intriguing, i hope to hear more about this technology soon.
I did a report on this for one of my classes about a year ago. What's actually happening there is that the projectile is cutting through the air at such a rate that the friction between the projectile and the surrounding air is so great, it superheats the particles in the air into the fourth state of matter, or plasma. It's not that it's being propelled like a rocket, it's just creating plasma in its wake.
I'm sorry, I meant @atomicant and novacon.
The effectiveness of a Kenetic energy warhead can be found in the phrase "Energy cannot be created nor destroyed."
Mass and Speed determines the amount of energy released.
Once you expend that much engery getting the object moving it doesnt dissapear once it comes to a sudden shock. Besides the shockwave there will be a tremendous about of heat created from the impact. The same thing happed when a meteor hits the ground.
I am quite fascinated with the Rail Gun, as I sit here ruminating over my long love affair with electricity; I am recalling a discussion in my electronics school in 1965. If I recall correctly developing 33MJ of EMF would require 2.059 698 214 2 X 10 to the 26th electron volts, Converting 33MJ to teslas is 3,3 X 10 to the 4th.
The Russians were able to produce 2.8 X 10 to the 4th teslas in a laboratory in Sarov Russia in 1998. So I highly doubt you would need a "Battleship." More likely I think, might be one of the new multi-mission vessels like the U.S.S, New York. I am wildly speculating that this much energy could be developed by linking several very large magnetrons together. In my research tonight the thought occurred to me that having two enormous rails identically charged and co-aligned to load at the magnetic north pole of the rails and launch at the south pole.
205,969,821,420,000,000,000,000,000 electron volts plus or minus will probably do the trick. Yeah, Mach 7 Dude
The New York is an amphibious transport ship, meaning its primary mission is as a Marine taxi (thus no deck guns). A weapon of this nature would therefore serve little purpose. While you would not need a full battleship to produce the power, this would probably be used on CRUDES (CRUisers and DEStroyers), if that's what you meant by "battleship." Their missions do include anti-surface warfare and naval gunfire support, which would seem to be the best use for these - though honestly, without the Soviet fleet around, neither of those functions are given much emphasis anymore. Unless al-Qaeda is hiding their warships very well, of course.
Impressive. But the camera shot outside the building, where the projectile is moving in the field, is it reality? Seems hard to believe that if that projectile was moving at 7.5mach that camera could turn that fast, being so close to the subject.
I don't know, cool though !
Killergoa, think about it. You can pan (angular pointing) a camera at superluminal speed (at a great enough distance). Mach 7+ should not be a major problem provided you can get a proper frame rate. That the frame rate was achieved in ordinary daylight w/o looking too dark was what impressed me, but I don't get out much . . .
Or the frame could have covered the entire flight path but the picture was zoomed in to see the projectile better. All you would need is a guy with basic video editing skills.
Better not let any terrorists get a hold of this thing. Imagine something striking your house from 200 miles away, and not ever being able to figure out what it is.
so, where does it end up at March 7th @noon? March 7.5 would be at noon, right? does the projectile still travel in the same direction, does it reverse direction, will it be in space because the Earth will be in a different position in space @ March 7.5? does it maintain its velocity or just stop once it reaches March 7.5, and does it travel to next March 7.5 or last March 7.5? Finally, What happens if you launch it on.. say: March 7th at Midnight, while at noon, you are standing in the projectile's path? If you collide with the projectile before you ever launched it, how could you have launched it in the first place, in which case, do you die or do you end up back at March 7th @ midnight, realizing that you fainted before you could initiate the launch sequence, or does the device malfunction, as in Capacitorbankgoboom? I have plenty more questions where that came from.. such as: if we had a nuclear power plant on the moon, to power this thing, and launched it, would it have enough kick to alter the moon's orbit, or rotational speed, depending on the orientation of the railgun when firing?
I have one.
At sea level you can see what 11 miles in any direction if it's flat? This is a direct fire weapon. Strictly staightline line of sight. Artillery is indirect fire like a basketball going into a hoop. Range for 16" naval guns is about 60 miles with a R.A.P. round. Forward observers can have it hit stuff behind hills and mountains this won't do that. Cruise missiles are porthole accurate and range is dependent on model of course but well past the horizon. As a point defense weapon it's almost useless. It would be like a sniper trying to shoot curve balls besides the phalanx pds throws up a pretty convincing wall of lead. This weapon really serves no purpose on a ship. However if you could put it in a tank that fills a direct fire role. Every crewman is extremely aware of the ring of explosives they are sitting in. Hint all those pointy shells point into the turret from a curved wall. If you had a big bucket of .50 cal nickle/iron slugs flying out of the barrel at Mach 7 that would be a very hard tank to kill and be able to obliterate pretty much anything on the battlefield today. Maybe even light bunker busting hmm.
Ha! Just thought of a quote from the movie Johnny Dangerously. " Dis is da .88 magnum. It shoots through schools. "
@ killergoa: yes I've been wondering the same thing. Can anyone confirm?
nvm im retarded had to keep reading comments.
ARTILLERY STILL USES EXPLOSIVES!!! @hamstrahammer they are just working on a delivery system right now. but now a days artillery uses many many different types of explosives. SOME does use solely kinetic energy for impact damage. You can even have nuclear artillery. A rail gun could EASILY be made in the near future to fire nuclear bombs, but by definition it would still be artillery. Artillery is basically any long rang ballistic weapon. This rail gun would fall into that category. Its projectiles could be ANY number of thigs, but I think the want to refine the system a little before they are start firing air burst or time burst artillery in a laboratory. (on a side note I saw on the now canceled future weapons some of the most futuristic artillery shells made. The electronics have to survive a tremendous g-shock, I believe WAY over 100 Gs. so I think it would help to design a delivery system before we start designing highly advance munitions for it.