Degree Name

BS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering Department


Kira Abercromby


The Cal Poly Electro Magnetic Rail Gun was used to eject a 0.370 gram, rectangular aluminum projectile towards a 1/16 inch monolithic aluminum plate at a speed of 280 ± 50 m/s. The resulting impact left a large attached spall on the back of the shielding. The impact damage was compared to an industry ballistic limit equation for a spherical aluminum projectile of similar diameter and was shown to have slightly less damage than the expected results.

In addition, an aluminum mesh double bumper shield was fired upon in order to verify its higher protection per aerial density as well as its higher projectile break-up ability. An impact at 459 ± 50 m/s resulted in superior shielding performance over an aluminum monolithic shield of equivalent areal density, based on the ballistic limit equation; however projectile break up did not occur. A minimum mass savings of 23% was realized using the mesh double bumper shield. Furthermore, when an additional aluminum bumper was placed in front of the mesh bumper, even greater ballistic protection was achieved with a minimum mass savings of over 65%.