Tomsk scientists are developing a mathematical model of an electromagnetic catapult with power supply from a pulsed magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator. It will determine the properties of materials during impacts and make aircraft accelerate faster on a short runway. Using this model, you can check circuit designs, perform parameter optimization, and other processes. The project manager is Viktor Solonenko, Associate Professor of the TSU Faculty of Physics and Engineering.
According to the scientist, it is now possible to create devices that have energy greater than gunpowder or its analogs, so for this, for example, sources of electromagnetic fields are used. To power the electromagnetic catapult, a lot of electrical energy is needed, and it must be produced in a very short time - about a second, sometimes much less. There are few sources, and also compact ones, for this purpose.
By 2021, TSU scientists will develop a mathematical model that will describe the entire process of the catapult and the pulsed MHD generator. With their help, you can check various circuit solutions, optimize parameters, make the choice of the right fuel, and much more - all this must be done before the stage of detailed design and the preparation of design documentation.
Because a thrown (or accelerated) object can be given significant speed, the model can be used to calculate the additional acceleration of aircraft in a short runway, for example, on aircraft carriers (this function is now performed by steam catapults), and in scientific research, for example, to determine material properties in high-speed collisions.
According to the scientist, experts from the USA and China are also engaged in research in this area. They have their particularities in approaches; for example, in the USA, capacitor banks are used for electromagnetic installations. However, TSU scientists believe that this worsens the potential of the device as a whole. As an energy source, the MHD generator enables using an electromagnetic catapult much more efficiently.