Measurement of Ballistic & Explosive Events


Contact Information

Donald J. Grosch
Manager
Ballistics & Explosives Range
(210) 522-3176
dgrosch@swri.org

James T. Mathis
Principal Engineer
Ballistics & Explosives Engineering
(210) 522-2084
jtmathis@swri.org

Image: IMACON ultra high-speed digital camera used for imaging of projectile penetration into ceramic armor

IMACON ultra high-speed digital camera used for imaging of projectile penetration into ceramic armor

 

Image: Over-pressure measurement from high explosives test

Over-pressure measurement from high explosives test

 

Image: SwRI-designed probe for measuring wave propagation

SwRI-designed probe for measuring wave propagation in soils and powders

 

Image: Typical piezoelectric transducers used to measure blast pressures

Typical piezoelectric transducers used to measure blast pressures

Fully instrumented, high-fidelity experiments are conducted at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to examine:

  • Impact
  • Penetration
  • Blast phenomena
  • Hazard/safety assessments

Ballistic & Explosion Test Facility

The Ballistic and Explosion Test Facility is staffed with experienced technicians who design and fabricate specialized sensors and data recording devices to meet unique requirements. To measure, record, and analyze data from ballistic and explosive events, the Ballistic and Explosion Test Facility has a variety of systems including:

  • Instrumentation
  • Data recording
  • Automated data reduction

Dynamic Measurements & Transducers

  • Blast and quasi-static pressure
  • Temperature
  • Strain
  • Acceleration
  • Rotation
  • Displacement
  • High-speed photo-optic sensors
  • Ultra high-pressure carbon gages

High-Speed Imaging

  • IMACON ultra high-speed digital camera (up to 108 frames per second)
  • High-speed digital video systems
  • Radiography
  • 300 kV and 150 kV Hewlett Packard pulsed x-ray systems
  • On-site automated film processing
  • Digital image analysis and enhancement

Radiography Transient Data Acquisition

  • Nicolet Multipro high-speed data acquisition system (72 channels)
  • Portable Nicolet Multipro high-speed data acquisition system (24 channels)
  • Analog magnetic tape recorders with simultaneous backup

Ballistics & Explosives Range

SwRI operates and maintains the Ballistics and Explosives Range on the San Antonio campus. This 10-acre facility permits a wide variety of experimental programs to be conducted, including:

  • Explosive loading
  • Hazards evaluation and mitigation
  • Foreign object damage
  • Ballistic impact
  • Armor testing
  • Hypervelocity impact

SwRI technicians provide expert support for handling explosives, firing gas and powder guns, and collecting high-rate electronic data. A complement of equipment, including an on-site machine shop, digital data acquisition and transient recorders, high-speed imaging equipment, and data processors, supports range activities.

Related Terminology

ballistics • blast resistance • gages • sensors • imaging • pulsed x-ray • data acquisition • fully instrumented experiments • high fidelity experiments • examine impact phenomena • penetration phenomena • ballistics test facility • explosion test facility • data recording • data reduction system

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
04/15/14