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Reusable Extended Artificial Light Source


OBJECTIVE: Develop a reusable light source to replace flashbulbs in order to photograph high speed test events. The reusable light source must meet or exceed specifications of currently used flashbulbs. DESCRIPTION: Sled tracks are used for ground testing DoD weapon systems at various facilities around the U.S. Sled tests are conducted at these facilities at speeds up to 10,000 feet per second and can occur either in day or the night time configurations. When testing is conducted during night time operations, light sources are necessary to illuminate and photograph test events. Additionally, it may be necessary to add illumination in order to provide adequate lighting to record events when sub microsecond camera exposures are required. Currently, single use flashbulbs are used to provide illumination for photographing test events due to their intensity, overall emission of light in the visible spectrum, and extended duration. The specifications for the currently used flashbulbs that the reusable extended artificial light source must meet or exceed are a minimum peak illumination of 6,000,000 lumens and a minimum duration of 0.03 seconds. The color temperature of the light source must be approximately 3,800 kelvin. The light source must be easily configurable such as stackable when more light is needed for sub-microsecond exposure times or to illuminate large areas. It must be portable as multiple photographic setups per day at various locations on the test complex are not uncommon. It must withstand overpressure experienced during explosive testing as well as withstand the shock environment generated by passing supersonic test weapons. Finally, the reusable light source must have a rise time that is repeatable within 10% to ensure it is a reliable light source for capturing critical photographic test and evaluation (T & E) data. PHASE I: Phase I is to develop an extended artificial light source concept capable of replacing existing flashbulbs used to photograph high speed test events and assess the technical feasibility of the overall concept. Some component/system testing may be conducted to assist in the assessment. The final report should outline the various options, their strengths and weaknesses, and performance estimations. PHASE II: Phase II should result in one or more prototype extended artificial light sources. Testing should be accomplished to validate the performance metrics outlined in the project description. PHASE III: Military Application: sled tracks, wind tunnels and research labs using high speed photography for weapon system T & E. Commercial Application: high speed motion picture photography, destructive testing, large format photography, theatrical special effects, explosion research. REFERENCES: 1. Lee, K. J. Design of a Flashbulb Firing Unit for Use with High Speed Cameras. Maribyrnong, Victoria: DSTO Materials Research Laboratory, Aug 1991. 2. Spindler, G. B. The use of Flashbulbs for Tracking Rockets. Valcartier, Quebec: Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment, Oct 1961.
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