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Proceedings Paper

Optical triggering for enhanced safety
Author(s): Pat Smith; Clif Briner; Todd Plichta; Richard Shagam; Alan Mar; Mike Cich; Albert Baca; Dennis Martin; Glenn Omdahl
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Paper Abstract

Firing systems typically incorporate isolation-based architectures that are established by the safety themes of particular weapon systems. Robust electrical diversion barriers are implemented to isolate energy from detonation-critical components until the event of intended use of the system. An optical trigger assembly is being developed to enhance the safety of new firing systems. It couples a fast trigger signal through an exclusion region barrier without compromising the integrity of the barrier in abnormal environment situations. A laser diode generates an optical pulse that is coupled through a sapphire stub to a photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS). The PCSS drives a vacuum switch tube to complete the triggering chain in the firing system. A general discussion and comparison of triggering technology options, and the design characteristics and performance parameters of the specific optical trigger point design are presented in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5871, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing, 587103 (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.620393
Show Author Affiliations
Pat Smith, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Clif Briner, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Todd Plichta, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Richard Shagam, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Alan Mar, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Mike Cich, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Albert Baca, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Dennis Martin, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Glenn Omdahl, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5871:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing
William J. Thomes; Fred M. Dickey, Editor(s)

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