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Proceedings Paper

Design, testing, and safety considerations of an optically isolated firing set
Author(s): Mark Heyse; Keith Jamison; Ron Stearns
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Paper Abstract

Experimental investigations at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate required a firing set to initiate detonators in ultra-high-voltage experiments, but commercial firing sets with adequate high voltage isolation could not be found. To resolve this issue a Directorate team designed, fabricated a new firing set, verified that it met all design requirements, and obtained safety board approval for its use. The patented design uses all plastic fiber optic cables, pneumatic controls, battery isolation, and redundant safety devices to withstand voltage differences of hundreds of thousands of volts between the operator and the experiment. This paper describes the efforts to develop a very reliable firing set that met the high standards required by explosive safety procedures. Design features include Faraday shielding, redundant lock out features, multiple safing circuits to handle a variety of fault conditions and fail-safe bleed down circuits to eliminate concerns with residual stored electrical energy. The high-voltage-tolerant firing set allows research in unexplored areas such as electro-explosive effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6287, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing II, 628705 (1 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.683276
Show Author Affiliations
Mark Heyse, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Keith Jamison, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Ron Stearns, SAIC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6287:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing II
William J. Thomes; Fred M. Dickey, Editor(s)

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