General Atomics Completes Successful Open Range Testing of Railgun Projectile Guidance Electronics Unit
San Diego, CA, 13 March 2016 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that their hypersonic projectiles with prototype components for their Guidance Electronics Unit (GEU) successfully performed programmed actions and communicated component performance to a ground station via a telemetry link in tests carried out 7-9 March 2016 at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The GEU, housed in the aerodynamically stable test projectile consists of a number of components, including integrated navigation sensors and processors for guidance, navigation and control.
The five test projectiles were fired at accelerations greater than 30,000 times that of gravity (>30,000 gees) from GA-EMS' 3 mega joule Blitzer® electromagnetic railgun system. The projectiles and the critical components within them experienced, survived and operated in the multi-Tesla magnetic field within the launcher and the overall launch environment. All of the GEU components performed as expected during and after the launch event, and through multiple seconds of aero-stable flight.
"This latest testing series completes the risk reduction and technology maturation of the individual components of our electromagnetic railgun launched hypersonic projectiles," stated Nick Bucci, Vice President, Missile Defense and Space Systems, GA-EMS. "We continue to fire and test our projectiles in an open range setting, allowing us to collect and analyze a significant amount of performance data under real-world conditions."
Over the past year, GA-EMS has performed pioneering engineering, development and successful testing of electromagnetic railgun launched hypersonic projectiles and projectile components. "We continue to perform risk reduction and technology maturation of projectile designs and components to culminate in an integrated demonstration of a maneuvering railgun launched projectile", Bucci continued.
GA-EMS' Blitzer railgun is a test asset designed and manufactured by GA-EMS to advance technology development toward multi-mission railgun weapon systems. Railguns launch projectiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. Blitzer railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high density capacitor driven pulsed power and weapon fire control system, can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.
About General Atomics
General Atomics (GA) is an advanced technology company with more than 60 years' experience developing innovative, real-world systems for challenging defense and energy applications. GA's Electromagnetic Systems Group is a world leader in the design and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and pulsed power systems, such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the electromagnetic railgun.
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