Building a Cyclic Gauss Gun by Tom Welch and Andrew Yock

Abstract: A two stage Gauss Accelerator was designed, built, and tested for the purpose of demonstrating the plausibility of a reusable and sustainable electrical means of propulsion in areas such as space launch and electromagnetic hyperloops. Electromagnets were optimized to be critically damped to allow charge from a capacitor bank, which was charged using an AC voltage doubler, to most efficiently impart kinetic energy on the projectile after photogates detected its movement into the magnet. We predicted the efficiency to be between 1 and 5% and expected velocities between 25 and 57 m/s. Testing showed efficiencies between 0.2 and 5% and velocities between 8 and 45 m/s. While the intent was to build a cyclical Gauss Accelerator, this project was very successful accomplished leading steps to this goal.

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