General Atomics Breaks Capacitor Record for Energy Content

General Atomics Breaks Capacitor Record for Energy Content

SAN DIEGO, CA, 30 JUNE 2016 – General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has successfully developed and demonstrated pulsed power capacitors with an energy content of more than 415 kilojoules (kJ), breaking a previous record established by GA-EMS by more than 20%.   

"This represents what we consider a significant, world-record-breaking milestone in the development of higher energy density capacitors," stated Nick Bucci, vice president of Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS.  "Our on-going research, development and maturing of high energy density capacitor technologies is enabling the creation of pulsed power systems powerful enough and compact enough to support the needs of our customers for both land and sea-based railgun applications."

Two separate pulsed power capacitors were successfully demonstrated 500 shots at 415 kJ in a repetitive fire mode. GA-EMS is continuing testing to further demonstrate capacitor lifetimes to support railgun mission requirements. 

"Electric-powered weapon systems place huge demands on pulsed power systems and in particular, the capacitors that comprise them," continued Bucci.  "Previously, the maximum stored energy for one of our large-platform capacitors was 340 kJ.  Now, with over 415 kJ of energy content in a single capacitor, we're making significant gains in overall energy density to engineer and manufacture pulsed power systems to suit the more compact platform footprints of next generation railgun weapon systems."

GA-EMS has successfully test-fired projectiles from its 3 mega joule Blitzer® electromagnetic railgun, using prior generation high density capacitor-driven pulsed power systems to launch the projectiles at accelerations over 30,000 times that of gravity (30,000 gees).  This new capacitor development will enable significantly higher muzzle energies in similar sized pulsed power systems.

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS' history of research, development and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide.

For further information contact:

Meghan Ehlke
Strategic Communications Manager
(858) 964-7058
Meghan.Ehlke@ga.com