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High-Resolution Measurement Techniques for High Explosive Internal Pressure and Temperature for Lethality Assessment



TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a non-invasive, innovative, and cost-effective methodology for high-resolution measurement of the internal temperatures and pressures of an energetic material during a range of reactive events, from, and including, deflagration to detonation.

DESCRIPTION: Many warhead types have been analyzed and modeled using first-principle techniques; however, the full spectrum of possible responses of High Explosive (HE) sub-munitions/weapons to various stimuli is poorly understood. Experimental test data that captures the various types of low-order response is very limited or not available in existing databases. Development of models for first-principle codes is critical for modeling and simulation of the responses of HE sub-munitions. Experimental data is needed to aid model development, as well as for model benchmarking and validation. Currently modeling approaches are empirical and/or focused on prediction of high-order rather than low-order reactions. Comprehensive modeling for a range of energetic materials requires a new kind of experimental data to fully characterize the internal state of the HE material as it undergoes the range of low-order reactions from deflagration to detonation. Test instrumentation is desired that will reliably measure the temperatures and pressures internal to a HE test article when it undergoes either high-order or low-order reactions. Non-contact instrumentation is desired to avoid affecting the HE response itself with the addition of instrumentation to detect pressure and temperature. If embedded instrumentation, such as taggant, Radio Frequency Identification, or nano-technology is proposed it must be shown that embedding a sensor in the HE test article does not significantly change its response.

PHASE I: Develop an innovative solution to the measurement of pressure and temperature internal to high explosive or energetic materials during deflagration or detonation. High temporal resolution is desired, on the order of a nanosecond; and, the best possible spatial resolution in three dimensions, on the order of cubic micrometers. Through modeling, simulation, and analysis; demonstrate the utility of the proposed approach(s) to measure and characterize the temperatures and pressures of interest. Provide a plan for demonstration of the preferred approach.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype measurement system that can be included in the characterization test of a high explosive or other energetic materials. Demonstrate performance via component and system-level testing that shows the ability to make measurements of internal pressures and temperatures of energetic material under test. Prove performance of the system via demonstration with a test case that can be benchmarked against other measurement techniques.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Transition the measurement and characterization system from a developmental unit to a test asset and use it to provide test data for characterization testing of energetic materials. Transition data developed under this program to developers of first-principles codes which model reactions of energetic materials for systems of interest to the government. This technology would benefit insensitive munitions testing of reactive materials (HE and propellants) and other DoD weapon program modeling and simulation. Other commercial applications could include explosive ordinance disposal and safety transport which could leverage this information to better perform these missions.


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KEYWORDS: energetic materials, temperature measurements, pressure measurements, high-speed non-contact instrumentation, deflagration, HE materials characterization


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