High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! A ram accelerator has
the same function as a gun; i.e., it is a device for accelerating
projectiles; however, it is entirely different in that
jet-engine-like propulsion cycles utilizing ramjet and/or scramjet
combustion processes are used to accelerate a projectile to
extremely high speeds. It is thought to be possible to achieve
non-rocket spacelaunch with this technology. It is a long tube
(barrel) filled with a mixture of combustible gasses with a
frangible diaphragm at either end to contain the gases. The
projectile, which is shaped like a ram jet core, is fired by
another means (e.g., a light gas gun) supersonically through the
first diaphragm into the end of the tube. It then burns the gases
as fuel, accelerating down the tube under jet propulsion. Other
physics come into play at higher velocities.
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