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Anchoring Post-Intercept Debris Prediction Tools


OBJECTIVE: Develop and test techniques for collecting data from hyper-velocity missile intercepts for the anchoring of post-intercept debris (PID) models. DESCRIPTION: MDA continues to develop models to predict and understand the phenomenology of hyper-velocity missile intercepts. Missile intercept events produce complex debris environments whose morphology and density are a function of several parameters including, but not limited to closing speed, target/interceptor mass, hit point, strike angle, presence/absence of reactive materials (e.g. high explosives), mechanical joints, material characteristics, etc.. Due to the vast phase space of potential missile engagements and resulting PID scenes that the BMDS may encounter, it is not possible to fully assess system performance within PID environments through flight tests alone. Flight test assessments of sensor performance must be supplemented through BMDS modeling and simulation that includes accurate realizations of PID scenes.A variety of PID models exist at various levels of maturity and fidelity. These models range from semi-empirical models to predictive, finite element models based upon first-principle physics. Each model, regardless of the methodology employed, must be properly anchored to ensure that it captures the relevant phenomenology at the appropriate level of fidelity. MDA desires a flight-capable means of anchoring model predictions for post-intercept debris. It is important to capture the debris characteristics necessary to properly model BMDS sensor signatures (RF and EO/IR) and complement existing test data (e.g. Light Gas Gun and Sled Track tests). Although current test data provide good information on debris mass, size and shape, there are limitations in the quality of the debris velocity and rotation rate data. Moreover, there are limitations in test article fidelity (both target and interceptor) and engagement space coverage (relatively low closing speeds). Key debris characteristics that should be captured through the proposed data collection methodology include accurate velocities (translational and rotational), approximate sizes, and accurate temperatures. In situ measurements of temperature and pressure during the impact itself are also desirable. The proposed system providing the anchoring data must fly along with the flight test article and, as such, must have physical size, telemetry requirements and power constraints consistent with being part of a launch vehicle. The system must also be testable in a ground test configuration. The contractor must demonstrate how these requirements will be met. Additionally, it should be noted that the concept must support integration with a launch vehicle several weeks to months before launch. PHASE I: Develop a concept for tagging, tracking and characterizing the physical properties of post-intercept debris resulting from hyper-velocity impacts. Debris tag concepts should be evaluated for survivability, telemetry, information content and cost. Proof of concept studies should be carried out via modeling and simulation. Develop a plan for constructing a prototype system in Phase II. PHASE II: Following the development plan outlined in Phase 1, construct a prototype debris tagging and telemetry system. Verify prototype performance via more extensive high-fidelity modeling and simulation along with ground testing. Phase 2 work will be classified. PHASE III: Mature the prototype to flight-ready status and perform data collection during an MDA flight test. Post-process flight test data to form a post-intercept debris scene image and cross-correlate with selected PID prediction tools. DUAL USE/COMMERCIALIZATION POTENTIAL: The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for additional DoD applications. Such applications could include weapons and armor development and insensitive munitions testing. Potential commercial uses include rocket motor safety testing for commercial space flight and NASA. REFERENCES: 1. J. Cogar, L. Schwalbe, D. Faux, G. Pomykal, D. Kelly, M. Cross,"Hydrocodes and their Role in Missile Defense Lethality Assessments", LLNL report No. UCRL-TR-225902, 2006.
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