Ballistics and Blast

Disruptive Energetics

Discovery and inventions of novel energetic materials. Methodologies for discovery include chemical synthesis, mechanochemical synthesis, and high-pressure chemistry and physics. The research area also focuses on investigating novel and efficient energy release concepts.

Principal Investigators: 

Jennifer Ciezak-Jenkins, jennifer.a.ciezak-jenkins.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6169

Multiscale Reactive Modeling for Energetics

Theoretical Modeling and Simulations of Energetic Materials in order to understand the structure-property and structure-phenomenological responses of Energetics. The program focuses on building models from Quantum Mechanical to Micro- to Meso- to Continuum scale with emphasis on building the models that bridge the length scales.

Principal Investigators: 

Betsy Rice, betsy.rice.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-1904

Detonation Science

Investigation of reactive rate for CHNO compounds.

Principal Investigators: 

Kevin McNesby, Kevin.l.mcnesby.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-1383

Synthesis of Energetic Materials (APG)

Research into higher-energy CHNO molecules that offer increased output and are less sensitive than current material.

Principal Investigators: 

Jesse Sabatini, jesse.j.sabatini.civ@mail.mil, 410-278-0235

Supporting Facilities:
High-Pressure Synthesis/Laser Diagnostic Lab (APG)

Equipment Available:
Paris-Edinburg Press, Diamond Anvil Press, various laser equipment.

High-Speed Diagnostics (APG)

Experimental techniques to characterize the reaction of energetic materials when subjected to shock.

Principal Investigators: 

Gerrit Sutherland, gerrit.t.sutherland.civ@mail.mil, 410-306-1382

Supporting Facilities:
Detonation Science Facility (APG)

Energetic Materials Characterization

Equipment Available:
PDV, high-speed cameras, detonation chambers, Schlieren/shadowgraph imaging systems.

Flight Dynamics/Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Flight dynamics and guidance, navigation, and control of guided precision munitions with emphasis on development of new algorithms of novel guided munitions.

Principal Investigators: 

Frank Fresconi, frank.e.fresconi.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-0794

Low-Cost Hyper-Accurate Weapons

Research estimation and control algorithms while leveraging high-performance, low-power computing capabilities to solve complex engagement problems that are currently not feasible.

Principal Investigators: 

Mark Ilg, mark.d.ilg.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-0780

Supporting Facility:
Guidance Navigation and Control Laboratory (GN&C) (APG)
Facility for developing GN&C systems for gun-launched munitions.  Conduct hardware in-the-loop simulations and prototyping of guidance electronics and actuation systems.

Equipment Available:
Sprient GNSS 8000 - Global Navigation Simulator; Antenna Characterization Chamber; Gun Shock Loading Table; MEMs IMU Calibration Equipment; Helmholtz Coil; Mechanical Prototyping Equipment; MyData PCB Assembly Equipment.

Computational Fluid Dynamics of Reacting Flows for Propulsion

CFD is used in detailed numerical models of high-pressure reacting flows, including interior ballistics of guns, gun muzzle flow for blast/flash mitigation, and for rocket motor research. For success of the numerical models run on high-performance computers (HPCs), necessary inputs include detailed chemical kinetics and physical simulators for validation.

Principal Investigators: 

Michael Nusca, michael.j.nusca.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6108;
Michael McQuaid, michael.j.mcquaid.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6185;
Richard Beyer, richard.a.beyer10.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6184;

Supporting Facilities:
Propulsion Science Branch Experimental Facilities (APG)
The Propulsion Science Branch has developed the capability to obtain data to validate our reacting CFD codes related to gun propulsion. High-pressure environments, including research gun firings, are safely accommodated. Novel experimental designs are developed as required.

Equipment Available:
Ballistic simulators for acquisition of validation data for IB models. Optical diagnostics of chemistry, temperature, and pressure in muzzle flow field.

Weapon-Projectile Dynamics and Structural Mechanics

Employing experimental and numerical methods to further the understanding of complex weapon-projectile interactions, their dynamics, and their effect on the projectile system during gun launch in order to directly link the interior ballistics and exterior ballistics sciences.

Principal Investigators:

Michael Minnicino, Michael.A.Minnicino.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-0759

Supporting Facilities:
High-G Environment Simulation Facility (ALC)
Laboratory creation of millisecond-duration high-g environments.

Equipment Available:
3" Airgun, 4" Airgun, 7" Airgun.

Penetration Mechanics

High-velocity penetration into soft, brittle, and ductile materials. Fracture and failure behaviors.

Principal Investigators: 

Jim Newill, james.f.newill.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6004

Time-Resolved Characterization of Impact and Penetration of Brittle and Ductile Materials (APG)

Experimental, modeling and simulation of high-velocity impact.

Principal Investigators: 

Brian Schuster, brian.e.schuster.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-6733

Supporting Facilities:
High-Velocity Impact Research Facility (APG)
This facility can be adapted for studying the impact and penetration response of a wide range of material classes (e.g. ductile and brittle) at velocities ranging from 0.1 to 2.5 km/s.  This facility specializes in the use of advanced diagnostic techniques to quantitatively measure the response as a function of time during the penetration event.

Equipment Available:
High-voltage In-situ Diagnostic Radiography Apparatus (HIDRA), Gas and propellant guns with bores ranging from 5.62 to 50 mm, Photonic Doppler Velocimeter, High Speed Camera

Dynamic Failure of Materials

Discover the underlying mechanisms associated with material fracture and failure that occur at very high loading rates, create engineering-level models of the underlying mechanisms, and structure the models in a manner consistent for implementation into advanced computational mechanics codes.

Principal Investigators: 

Todd Bjerke, todd.w.bjerke2.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-5819

Supporting Facilities:
Dynamic Fracture Laboratory (APG)
High-rate loading device and state-of-the-art instrumentation to isolate and probe individual fracture/failure mechanisms.

Equipment Available:
Gas gun, wide variety of Kolsky bars for compression, tension, and torsion, coherent gradient sensing device, high-powered laser, method of caustics, ultrafast 64 channel IR detector array for measuring thermal emissions during crack propagation, strain gages, high speed optical cameras.

Dynamic Failure of Materials at Extreme States

Discover the underlying mechanisms associated with material fracture, failure, and high pressure transformations/instabilities that occur at very high loading rates, pressures, temperatures, and magnetic fields; create engineering-level models of the underlying mechanisms, and structure the models in a manner consistent for implementation into advanced computational mechanics codes.

Principal Investigators: 

Todd Bjerke, todd.w.bjerke2.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-5819

Supporting Facilities:
Dynamic Fracture Laboratory (APG)
High-rate loading device and state-of-the-art instrumentation to isolate and probe individual fracture and failure mechanisms.

Equipment Available:
Small diameter gas gun with customizable impact chamber, coherent gradient sensing equipment, high-powered laser, method of caustics, ultrafast 64- channel two-dimensional IR detector array for measuring thermal emissions during crack propagation, strain gages, ultra-high speed imaging cameras.

Supporting Facilities:
Shock and Impact Physics Laboratory (APG)
Impact laboratory for studying the effects of extreme shock pressures, temperatures, coupled electromagnetic fields, and ballistic penetration in materials.

Equipment Available:
Suite of large diameter single and two-stage light gas guns, plate impact shock physics impact chambers, ballistic impact chambers, pulsed x-ray and high speed optical imaging systems, multi-point VISAR systems, simultaneous pressure-shear impact and shock-recovery capabilities, and extreme magnetic field coils.

Modeling of Dynamic Failure at Extreme States (APG)

Discover the underlying mechanisms associated with material fracture, failure, and high pressure transformations/instabilities that occur at very high loading rates, pressures, temperatures, and magnetic fields; create engineering-level models of the underlying mechanisms, and structure the models in a manner consistent for implementation into advanced computational mechanics codes.  Academic Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering, Physics.

Principal Investigators: 

Todd Bjerke, todd.w.bjerke2.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-5819

Supporting Facilities:
Dynamic Fracture Laboratory (APG)
High-rate loading device and state-of-the-art instrumentation to isolate and probe individual fracture and failure mechanisms.

Equipment Available:
Small diameter gas gun with customizable impact chamber, coherent gradient sensing equipment, high-powered laser, method of caustics, ultrafast 64- channel two-dimensional IR detector array for measuring thermal emissions during crack propagation, strain gages, ultra-high speed imaging cameras.

Supporitng Facilities:
Shock and Impact Physics Laboratory (APG)
Impact laboratory for studying the effects of extreme shock pressures, temperatures, coupled electromagnetic fields, and ballistic penetration in materials.

Equipment Available:
Suite of large diameter single and two-stage light gas guns, plate impact shock physics impact chambers, ballistic impact chambers, pulsed x-ray and high speed optical imaging systems, multi-point VISAR systems, simultaneous pressure-shear impact and shock-recovery capabilities, and extreme magnetic field coils.

Supporting Facilities:
DoD High Performance Computing Facility and associated shock physics codes

Equipment Available:
High performance computers with up to 100,000 processors.

Modeling of Dynamic Fracture (APG)

Discover the underlying mechanisms associated with material fracture and failure that occur at very high loading rates, create engineering-level models of the underlying mechanisms, and structure the models in a manner consistent for implementation into advanced computational mechanics codes.  Academic Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering, Physics.

Principal Investigators:

Todd Bjerke, todd.w.bjerke2.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-5819

Supporting Facilities:
DoD High Performance Computing Facility and associated shock physics codes

Equipment Available:
High performance computers with up to 100,000 processors.

Diagnostic Development for Ballistic Experiments (APG)

Enhance diagnostic techniques for use in ballistic experiments.  The intent is to implement these diagnostic techniques at large scale experimental facilities capable of handling up to 20 lb of high explosive.  The goal of this focus area is to increase both the quantity and fidelity of data typically captured during ballistic experiments as well as explore entirely new diagnostic methods.  Examples of potential collaborative efforts include development of a) multi-color flash x-ray tomography and b) modern cineradiography capability.

Principal Investigators: 

Michael Zellner, michael.b.zellner.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-2565

Supporting Facilities:
Multiple Experimental Facilities that Utilize the Following (APG) Flash radiography sources including 150, 300, 450, and 1000 KeV Computed radiography using Kodak imaging plates and imaging plate scanner Lasers; IPG 2 watt 1550 nm laser and Spectral Physics 6 watt 532 nm laser High speed oscilloscopes (numerous 1 GHz bandwidth and one 16 GHz bandwidth) Numerous delay generators and timing equipment Four channels of 10 GHz Photonic Doppler Velocimetry Cordin 222-16 intensified gated framing camera (16 images); SIM 8 frame intensified gated framing camera Four Photron high speed cameras High voltage firing set capable of setting off numerous detonators (RP-80 like)

Modeling Development and Validation Via Novel Experimental Diagnostics

This work encompasses fundamental research in electromagnetism and solid mechanics. A close synergism between theory and experiment is continuously sought, and close collaboration between experimentalists and modelers is considered mandatory. The theoretical work can vary from largely analytical, which relies only on physics-based PC programs, to full-scale hydrocode simulations. The experimental work employs sophisticated diagnostics that can be used to measure electrical and thermodynamic properties for purposes of comparison with theory.  Specific research projects in electrodynamics or plasma physics with an emphasis on conductors moving in EM fields, gasses under extreme conditions, and/or development of unique experimental diagnostics for physics-based model or hydrocode validation

Principal Investigators: 

Casey Uhlig, willard.c.uhlig.civ@mail.mil, (410) 278-3997

Supporting Facilities:
EM Laboratory and Experimental Ballistic Facilities (APG)
Experimental facilities with pulsed power production and measurement capabilities, and high-velocity impact events.

Equipment Available:
Pulsed-power equipment, high-speed video (Photron, Phantom, Ultra 24, Shimatzu), video tracking, high-speed spectroscopic imaging.

High-G Environment

Understanding and simulating a structural response to a high-acceleration environment are critical to the effective design of gun-launched projectiles.  Development of detailed models of high-g simulation that can be used to tailor test environment.

Principal Investigators:

Morris Berman, morris.s.berman.civ@mail.mil, (301) 394-4188

High-Rate Experimental Mechanics of Materials at Different Length Scales and Loading Rates

Exploring and understanding the relationship between mechanical, electrical, and chemical response of materials to mechanical loading by identifying associated micro-mechanisms through quantitative in-situ visualization. Investigations are designed to unravel the deformation, failure and injury mechanisms at loading rates and length scales with focus on Army-relevant materials including bio and bio-mimetic materials.

Principal Investigators: 

Tusit Weerasooriya, tusit.weerasooriya.civ@mail.mil, (410) 306-0969