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Detailed Lethality Assessments for Flight Test Events


OBJECTIVE: Develop in situ detectors for MDA flight test targets to directly record physical properties in and around the expected warhead location to provide a more definitive measure of interceptor lethality. DESCRIPTION: MDA has the responsibility to test new and improved interceptor missiles against new and evolving threats. To accomplish this, MDA must constantly upgrade the capability of missile targets to (1) be more threat representative and (2) provide as much physical information as possible about what happens during the"end game", which is characterized by a time period of no more than 100 microseconds. The purpose of this topic is to solicit concepts and system designs that will go beyond the establishment of a hit point on a target and will provide useful information on the sequential destructive processes after the initial impact with an emphasis on characterization of the expected physical location of the warhead. Classically, hit detectors have been comprised of X/Y grids of sensing elements that when broken by the initial impact yielded a localized first point of impact. Recently techniques have been introduced that utilize impact energies to determine the impact points. Whatever the initial technique, this topic solicits designs that can provide more definitive assessments of the actual destructive potential of either a hit-to-kill interceptor or a Shrapnel Kill warhead. Proposed systems must be able to address either type of kill vehicle. PHASE I: Investigate models of projected damage production on a representative, unclassified target. A damage detection system design would be produced that would address the damage configuration and timing of a interceptor on a target. The number and type of physical measurements that would be needed to provide improved situational awareness within seconds after the intercept would be investigated. The Phase 1 design would also be required to show, by analysis or experiment, that it would satisfy the speed and extreme environmental chaos that dominates a hit-to-kill intercept. It would also be desirable for proof-of-concept demonstrations to be provided as a part of a Phase 1 engineering task. PHASE II: Realize a design of a test system that could be included on existing target missiles. Such systems would gather and transmit the data necessary to improve situational awareness during intercept events thus proving the ability of the electrical and physical design to gather and off load the critical data prior to destruction. Phase 2 work will be classified. PHASE III: Mature the test system to flight-ready status on a suitable target missile and perform data collection during an MDA flight test. Post-process flight test data to display post-intercept impact location information and the sequential destructive processes after the initial impact. Dual Use/Commercialization Potential The contractor will pursue commercialization of the various technologies developed in Phase II for additional DoD or commercial applications. Such applications could include weapons and armor development testing, rocket motor safety testing, and in-flight monitoring of debris or other impact events for satellites and other orbiting spacecraft. REFERENCES: 1. W.R. Winton, R.L. Haley, W. M. Kornegay, W.J. Sarjeant, A. Sherer,"Army Science Board Independent Assessment Phase 2 Study on Hit-to-Kill Interceptor Lethality: Part A Lethality", Report AD-B233 821, 1997.
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