EXPLOSIVE ACCELERATORS

The projectile is accelerated either by a high explosive, or by hydrogen gas compressed by the explosive. Explosives such as Composition B, Octol, RDX, HMX9404, ERS-9, KEL-F, LX-10, and PBX-9010 are used because of their high detonation velocities, ranging from 7 to 9 km/s. The acceleration is so extreme that the projectile breaks apart if its mass is more than a few grams. Explosive ram accelerator is not included here because its acceleration is moderate.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alex B. Wenzel, "A Review of Explosive Accelerators for Hypervelocity Impact," International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol. 5, 1987, pp. 681-692.


AIR CAVITY LAUNCHER

A high explosive accelerates a small projectile up to 5.5 km/s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

E. N. Clark, A. Mackenzie, F. H. Schmitt and I. L. Kintish, "Studies of hypervelocity impact on lead," Proceedings of Fourth Hypervelocity Impact Symposium, Eglin AFB, Florida, 1960.

J. H. Kineke, "An experimental study of crater formation in metallic targets," Proceedings of Fourth Hypervelocity Impact Symposium, Eglin AFB, Florida, 1960.

Air cavity launcher


SHAPED CHARGE DETONATION

A high explosive implodes a conical metal liner. The explosion fuses the liner into a thin liquid jet and accelerates it up to 16.5 km/s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alex B. Wenzel and J. W. Gehring, "Techniques for Launching 0.01 to 25 gm Discrete Projectiles at Velocities Up to 54,100 ft/sec," Proceedings of the Fourth Hypervelocity Techniques Symposium, Arnold Air Force Station, 1965.

Shaped charge detonation


VOITENKO IMPLOSION GUN

A high explosive accelerates hydrogen gas which in turn accelerates a thin disk up to about 40 km/s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. E. Voitenko, "Generation of High-Speed Jets," Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR, Vol. 158, 1964, pp. 1278-1280.

D. R. Sawle, "Characteristics of the Voitenko High-Explosive-Driven Gas Compressor," Acta Astronautica, Vol. 14, 1969, pp. 393-397.

Voitenko implosion gun