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Electromagnetic Radiation Effects on Weapons and Energetic Materials


OBJECTIVE: Perform innovative research in electromagnetic radiation (EMR) effects on energetic materials (EMs). Develop electrical and physicochemical models of EMs to predict safety and energy output under various physical, chemical, and EMR conditions. DESCRIPTION: Ubiquitous radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) usage is an important characteristic of modern military. While EMR offers many benefits, there are disadvantages associated with the EMR-rich environment. One of the disadvantages of EMR is"Hazard of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance"(HERO). HERO may cause inadvertent activation of a munition. A fundamental and scientific understanding is lacking as to why and how EMR impacts explosives at the molecular level and causes an inadvertent activation of the explosive. Besides the inadvertent initiation of an explosive material, EMR could alter an explosive"s performance. The fundamental mechanisms that take place when an explosive is exposed to EMR needs to be studied, modeled, and validated. This is basic research that brings multiple scientific fields together. The goal of this innovative research is twofold: to develop a physicochemical model, and an electrical model to predict energetic material performance both for safety as well as for energy throughput. The models developed should incorporate all physical, chemical, temporal, and EMR parameters. The purpose of such models is to help understand the safety features needed in the design of a munition and also to design new materials. The question that needs addressed in this research through the validated models is: What characteristics of EMR and energetic material play a critical role for both safety as well as throughput? PHASE I: Develop theory, and develop first principle physics based physicochemical and electrical models and algorithms for EMs and EMR interaction. Deliverables include a technical report documenting the theory of model development, proof that models and algorithms are relevant, feasible and valid for at least some classes of materials under key parametric conditions of EMR and materials. PHASE II: Enhance and refine the models and algorithms developed in Phase I. Show by analysis and experiments that they are accurate and valid for multiple classes of materials under a number of various physical, chemical and EMR parametric conditions. Deliverables include detailed technical reports, algorithm and model specifics, rationale, and experimentally demonstrated validation evidence for multiple materials under scores of parametric conditions of EMR and material property variations. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Military applications are munitions safety, and munitions performance characterization. Commercial applications include explosives safety weapons for law enforcement; automobile airbag enhanced safety, reliability, and efficient airbags.
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