Modeling and Simulation of Biological Agent Response to Combustion Effects
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Weapons directed at enemy stores of chemical and biological agents can cause extreme collateral damage by venting live agents from broken containers into the surrounding area. This is severely hazardous for friendly forces, noncombatants, and the surrounding environment. An Agent Defeat weapon (such as HTIs) is specifically designed to cause substantial damage to the target, while minimizing collateral damage. The response of the agent to the environment created by the weapon is currently unknown. Most of the research thus far has focused on the pyrolysis and combustion of chemical agents and thermal inactivation of biological agents. However, the combustion of biological agents has not been examined and even the most fundamental properties such as the ignition temperature are currently not available. Here we propose to develop combustion models for biological agents based on carefully controlled sub-system level bench scale tests on live agents and simulants. In addition to measuring the combustion properties such as the ignition temperature, flammability limits, and the products of combustion, the study also will yield a fundamental understanding of the combustion mechanism. The models and data from this study can be used to predict the extent of combustion and fractional viability of spores in a real life combustion event.
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