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RailTech PDR. Group Members: Mike Oertli Jonathan Karnuth Jason Rancier September 11, 2008. Project Overview. Linear accelerator Voltage applied to rails Projectile shorts out rails creating EM field Pneumatic kick-start Projectile accelerates forward. Basic Design.

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railtech pdr

RailTechPDR

Group Members:

Mike Oertli

Jonathan Karnuth

Jason Rancier

September 11, 2008

project overview
Project Overview
  • Linear accelerator
  • Voltage applied to rails
  • Projectile shorts out rails creating EM field
  • Pneumatic kick-start
  • Projectile accelerates forward
basic design
Basic Design
  • Conducting rails mounted to non-conducting surface
  • Capacitor array
  • PCB, logic, and UI
  • Conducting metallic projectile
objectives
Objectives
  • Safety!!!
  • Adjustable voltage from capacitor bank
  • User interface
    • Keypad and LCD
    • Sensor data
    • Velocity calculations
    • Remote/Hands off (Safety!)
approach
Approach
  • Split into 3 main areas
      • Railgun
      • Control system
      • User interface
  • Each person focus on one area
  • Communication and compatibility is key
power supply
Power Supply
  • Brute Force discharge
    • Basic supply, dumps a lot of current directly on rails
    • Simple to design, overkill on capacitance
    • Inefficient, back EMF problems
  • Recharger Supply
    • Complex LC timing based on rails
    • Prone to failure with bad design
    • Requires more capacitors (if polarized are used)
    • Much more efficient
    • Fast recharging
capacitors
Capacitors
  • Capacitance: 610,000µF
  • Voltage: 20VDC
    • 30VDC surge
  • ESR: 2.1mΩ max
  • Type: Electrolytic
  • Number used: ~20
  • Cost: ~ $400
capacitor array
Capacitor Array
  • Mounted capacitors
    • Connected by switches controlled by logic based on input voltage from user
    • Logic will be based on test shots
    • In enclosed case (Safety)
  • Other possibilities:
    • Manual switches
    • Switch mode power supply
  • Input inductor between array and rails
    • Ramps current to rails
    • Avoid discharging capacitors too fast
rail types
Rail types
  • Cylindrical
    • Easier to fabricate
    • Fewer pieces
    • Stronger using less material
  • Rectangular
    • Easier to mount
    • Better electrical properties, distributed current
example of rail
Example of rail

Conducting rails

materials
Materials
  • Rails: Brass
  • Projectile: Aluminum
  • Base: Garolite & Teflon
  • Capacitors: 20x 0.6F 20 v Electrolytic
  • Microcontroller: MSP430 family - 16 bit
  • PCB
  • Power supply
  • Sensors (EM, voltage)
  • Keypad and LCD
brass rails
Brass Rails
  • Composite: ~70% Copper, ~.07% Lead, ~.05% Iron, Remainder Zinc
  • Electrical Conductivity: 28% IACS
  • Electrical Resistance: 6.2µΩ/cm
  • Friction: Very low with Most metals
  • Melting Point: 910oC
  • Inner/Outer Diameter: 0.87”/1”
  • Cost: $58.68 for 36”
projectile
Projectile
  • Metal: Aluminum
    • Composite: 2011
    • Temper: T3
    • Part #: 88615K411
  • Melting point: 540oC
  • Electrical Conductivity: 45% IACS
  • Electrical Resistivity: 3.8µΩ/cm
  • Diameter: 7/8”
  • Length: ~1”
  • Cost: $17.41/foot
pneumatic kick start
Pneumatic Kick-start
  • Avoids spot welding projectile
  • Added kinetic energy
  • Eliminates static friction coefficients
  • Compressed Air/CO2 system
    • Activated by Microcontroller post safety checks
safety features
Safety Features
  • Voltage sensors on rails, cap bank, & source
    • Kill power if out of expected range
  • EM Field Sensor
    • Faraday cage if EM field great enough
  • Plexiglas casing
    • Keep user isolated from high voltages and short circuited rails
block diagram
Block Diagram

Capacitor Array

Inductor

Rails

Power Supply

Kill

Switch

Keypad

LEDs

MSP430xxxx

LCD

microcontroller
Microcontroller
  • MSP430xxxx family
    • Testing on MSP430F169
  • 16-bit for accurate calculation of sensor data
  • Control safety logic based on sensor values
    • Disconnect switches from caps to rails
    • Display values on LCD
software engineering
Software Engineering
  • Interface with Matlab
    • Import sensor data
    • Statistical analysis
    • Display results to user as graphs and tables
    • Maintain records
pcb elements
PCB Elements
  • Power supply
  • MSP430 Family
  • Debug/information LEDs
  • LCD (3 or 4 rows)
  • Keypad input
  • Communication with sensors(A/D)
sensor
Sensor
  • Measure voltage at high sample rate
  • Used for analysis and safety logic
  • Implementation:
    • Voltage transducer
    • Sample @ 10 MHz +
    • Response time < 50μs
user interface
User Interface
  • Basic keypad
    • Input desired voltage to apply to rails
  • 3 or 4 line LCD on PCB
    • Output sensor data and statistics
    • Basic input user interface
  • If time:
    • Keyboard input
    • Computer monitor with GUI
    • Matlab sensor data analysis
real world application
“Real World” Application
  • Control System for other high voltage applications
  • Accelerator for fun, military, other scientific research
  • Capacitor array for high current burst power systems
  • Sensor to Matlab interface
realization
Realization
  • Stay under budget by getting donations
  • Establish primary goals/reasonable functionality
    • Operate within these
  • Add incremental levels of difficulty based on time
plan b
Plan B
  • Risk:
    • Projectile fuses to rails
    • Discontinuities in the rails and base
    • Arcing- heat/damage to rails
  • Unfamiliarity
    • Sensing systems
    • Matlab interface
  • Recovery
    • Ask for help!
    • Use heavier duty components
    • RTFM
    • Have extra rails and projectiles ready
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