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The extra-large light-gas gun of the Fraunhofer EMI: Applications for impact cratering research

: Lexow, B.


Meteoritics & planetary science 48 (2013), Nr.1, S.3-7
ISSN: 1086-9379
ISSN: 0026-1114
Fraunhofer EMI ()

The extra-large light-gas gun (XLLGG) at the Fraunhofer Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI, Efringen-Kirchen, Germany) is a two-stage light-gas gun that can accelerate projectile masses of up to 100 g up to velocities of 6 km s-1. The accelerator's set-up allows various combinations of pump and launch tubes for applications in different fields of hypervelocity impact research. In the framework of the MEMIN (Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modeling Impact Research Network) program, the XLLGG is used for mesoscale cratering experiments with projectiles made of steel and of iron meteorites, and targets consisting of sandstone and other rocks. The craters produced with this equipment reach a diameter of up to 40 cm, a size unique in laboratory cratering research. With the implementation of neural networks, the acceleration process is being optimized, currently yielding peak velocities of 7.8 km s-1 for a 100 g projectile. Here, we summarize technical aspects of the XLLGG.