Laboratory-scale Technique to Optically Measure Explosive Impulse for Energetic-material Air-blast Characterization

Report No. ARL-TR-6185
Authors: Matthew M. Biss
Date/Pages: September 2012; 38 pages
Abstract: An experimental technique is investigated to measure optically the explosive impulse produced by laboratory-scale spherical explosive charges detonating in air. Explosive impulse has historically been calculated from temporal pressure measurements obtained via piezoelectric transducers. This technique combines schlieren flow visualization and high-speed digital photography to optically measure explosive impulse at numerous radial locations, limited only by sensor resolution. Prior to an explosive event, schlieren system calibration is performed using known light-ray refractions and resulting digital image intensities. Explosive charges are detonated in the test section of the schlieren system and imaged using a high-speed digital camera in streak mode. Image intensities downstream of the shock wave are translated into a temporal density profile and subsequently converted to a pressure-versus-time profile. Integration of this profile over the positive pressure duration of the shock wave represents the explosive impulse generated at a given pixel location.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2012