Computer Engineering Department
BS in Computer Engineering
The purpose of this project was to build a system to measure the voltage waveform of a discharging railgun. Another group of students had built a railgun system to simulate micro asteroid impacts in low Earth orbit. The only instrumentation available to them was an analog voltmeter attached to the capacitor banks. During the lengthy (30 to 45 minute) charging process, an analog voltmeter was more than capable of measuring the voltage. However, during the discharging process the time elapsed was so short (approximately one millisecond) that waveform data could not be captured. In order to measure power dissipation during discharge as well as the energy put into the projectile, a system to measure the waveform of the discharging state needed to exist.