Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Measurement of Ballistic & Explosive Events

Fully instrumented, high-fidelity experiments are conducted at 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 at the San Antonio headquarters. 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.


Gas Gun