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Enhanced Stability and Penetration Depth of Deep Earth Penetrators

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA1-08-C-0082
Agency Tracking Number: RDI060003358
Amount: $736,571.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA06-009
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-10-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-09-30
Small Business Information
205 Schoolhouse Road
Souderton, PA 18964
United States
DUNS: 122998925
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Principal Investigator
 (215) 723-8588
Business Contact
 Evelyn Downs
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (215) 723-8588
Email: GSI@General-Sciences.Com
Research Institution

DTRA and other DoD agencies are currently seeking earth penetrators with higher efficiency for reaching deeply buried targets. Current penetrator materials and designs suffer from high levels of frictional drag, unbalanced resistance due to lateral forces and localized melting of the warhead leading to shape change and further instability. General Sciences, Inc. (GSI) has developed a method for enhanced penetration performance of Deep Earth Penetrating Warheads (EPWs) based on reactive materials, specifically the release and combustion of hydrogen form a solid state metal hydride carrier. In addition, GSI has identified two processes to manufacture metal hydrides not commercially available, one involving direct hydrogenation of the target metal and the other involving transfer hydrogen from a hydride to a metal, a significant safety advantage. Lab scale experiments have been performed demonstrating the validity of this approach by evaluating different reactive materials ballistically launched into concrete target blocks. In addition to the experimental effort, GSI has worked with General Dynamics-OTI (GD-OTI) to create computer simulations showing the penetration event in sand/concrete targets and the enhancement possible by the creation of a low-friction gas zone between the penetrator and the earthen overburden. GSI will evaluate new reactive materials, manufacture and analyze tantalum hydride by direct and transfer hydrogenation, fabricate scaled penetrators for evaluation at General Dynamic’s sled test facility and will culminate this Phase II program with the construction of a prototype Deep Earth Penetrating warhead.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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