Harsh Environment Sensors for a Naval Electromagnetic Launcher

Period of Performance: 05/12/2008 - 03/11/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Prime Photonics, LLC
1116 South Main Street Array
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Principal Investigator


Prime Research, LC (PRLC) with the expert assistance of Lawrence Livermore Nation Labs (LLNL) proposes to develop a suite of diagnostic sensors for electromagnetic launchers (railguns). Measurement capabilities to be provided include strain, pressure, electric field, and magnetic field. This suite of photonic sensors is based on an entirely dielectric fiber optic platform which renders it immune to any issues with the harsh electromagnetic environment. Each sensor is capable of withstanding temperature in excess of 300°C, and all have frequency response characteristics in excess of 10 MHz. In addition to the transducers, the proposed effort includes modification of the PRLC sensor interrogation technology to allow for modular selection of transducers. Upon fabrication of the sensors, they will undergo laboratory testing. In the Phase I option, the effort will be expanded to include testing in a representative railgun environment, as well as investigation of instrumenting the armature.