Weapons of Mass Destruction Countermeasures & Neutralization Research


Contact Information

Scott A. Mullin
Program Manager
Ballistics & Explosives Engineering
(210) 522-2340
smullin@swri.org

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

image: Test personnel wearing protective clothing and equipment during experiments involving simulated chemical and biological weapon materials in a small-scale blast test facility

Test personnel wearing protective clothing and equipment during experiments involving simulated chemical and biological weapon materials in a small-scale blast test facility

 

image: Thermobaric device to be tested in a blast chamber against simulated biological agent

Thermobaric device to be tested in a blast chamber against simulated biological agent

 

image: Laboratory assessment of bio-agent kill mechanism

Laboratory assessment of bio-agent kill mechanism

 

image: High-speed photographs of Agent Defeat weapon field evaluation

 

image: High-speed photographs of Agent Defeat weapon field evaluation

 

image: High-speed photographs of Agent Defeat weapon field evaluation

High-speed photographs of Agent Defeat weapon field evaluation

Fundamental and applied research to investigate the effects of various weapon concepts is conducted by the Engineering Dynamics Department and the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to neutralize weapons of mass destruction (WMD) chemical and biological agents. This research includes laboratory analyses (up to surety and biolevel 4 if required) and field testing of weapons concepts using simulants.

Several unique test facilities have been designed, fabricated, and utilized to accurately measure the effectiveness of different concepts. Analyses include:

  • Environmental measurements of pressure
  • Environmental measurements of temperature (at very high rates)
  • Bioassay of confined effluent and vented effluent

Arena and range tests have been conducted to evaluate agent release and collateral effects using a wide variety of weapon concepts, including:

  • Explosive weapons
  • Fragmenting weapons
  • High-temperature weapons

WMD Testing Capabilities

  • High explosives testing
  • High-speed digital imaging of impacts up to 100,000,000 frames per second
  • Nicolet Multipro© high-speed data acquisition up to 200 MHz
  • High-speed photographs of Agent Defeat weapon field evaluation
  • Test fixture fabrication, machine shops, welding
  • Institute ISO-compliant QA
  • Computer simulations—impact, explosions, fluid flow, particle motion, temperature fields (CTH, EPIC, LS-DYNA, FLOW 3D, CHEETAH)
  • Material identification, bioassay, material preparation
  • Extensive chemistry laboratories

WMD Experience

  • US Air Force Agent Defeat Program (5 years)
  • US Air Force Weapons Effectiveness Evaluation Program
  • US Air Force WMD Agent Release Program
  • Thermobaric weapons evaluation program
  • WMD sensor evaluation programs

WMD Testing Facilities

  • Ballistics ranges with low-speed (<1,000 ft/s) to high-speed (>6,000 ft/s) gun systems
  • High explosives testing ranges
  • Fully equipped instrumentation trailers (one mobile)
  • Highly instrumented blast chambers (up to 750 ft3 in volume)
  • Chemistry bioassay laboratories
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Malvern and Doppler laser-based particle sizing instrumentation

Ballistics and Explosives Test Range

Related Terminology

weapons of mass destruction  •  WMD  •  biological agents  •  chemical agents  •  agent neutralization  •  high-temperature incendiary  •  thermobaric weapons  •  bioassay  •  explosives testing  •  weapons effects  •  anti-terrorist  •  counter-terrorism  •  arena tests  •  agent release  •  collateral effects  •  homeland security

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 11 technical divisions.
04/15/14