Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor 1

Wayne Weaver

Committee Member 1

John Pakkala

Committee Member 2

Sumit Paudyal


Railgun is a future weapon for shooting long-range targets with high accuracy. Railgun is an economical weapon as it does not use any kind of propellant for shooting a projectile. It uses high impulsive current to generate the necessary force required to hit the target. The US Navy has been planning to implement railgun system on ships as their long-range shooting weapon. Railgun needs to be charged up to a certain voltage level to generate the necessary force to shoot the projectile to achieve the specified target location. It is very important that minimal voltage is required for shooting the projectile to hit the target accurately as it minimizes the losses occurring in the railgun system. This project focuses on solving this challenge by minimizing the railgun’s initial voltage required to shoot a projectile for hitting the target with high accuracy. It also focuses on minimizing the copper losses occurring in the system. In this project, a novel method has been generated which solves both challenges.

In this project, a model of the discharging circuit of the railgun and a model of the projectile’s trajectory with and without air drag have been generated using Simulink. Then both of these models are merged using MATLAB. Once this model was complete, it simulates the discharge of the capacitor voltage into the railgun system to achieve the necessary acceleration required to launch a projectile with a certain velocity. It also simulates the trajectory of a projectile. In this project, an optimization technique has been implemented using Fmincon to optimize the shooting accuracy to hit the target with minimum copper losses. This has been achieved by generating a code which optimally chooses the initial input voltage required for discharging and the launch angle at which the railgun is kept. At the end, higher than 97.5 % accuracy has been achieved in hitting the target while reducing the copper loss by more than 6 % for both the cases that were modeled.