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Plasma Ignition Response for LOVA Gun Propellant at Low Loading Densities

The ignition of LOVA gun propellants at low loading densities is of interest for future gun systems with insensitive modular charges. The ignition system in conventional propellant systems is traditionally optimized for high loading densities. There is a need to be able to control the ignition for the envelop of the system, to reduce unburnt propellant at low loading densities and, at the same time, avoid pressure waves at high loading densities. Plasma ignition is interesting for this application, with the possibility to vary ignition energy and with the plasma plume penetrating deep into the propellant bed to achieve uniform ignition.

This paper presents results from plasma ignition experiments in a 45-mm gun system, using NL008, an RDX-based CAB-LOVA propellant. The plasma igniter is a capillary jet type, driven by a pulse-forming network. A zero-dimensional model for the plasma igniter has been developed and will be discussed in the context of the experiments.

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