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Proceedings Paper

Characterization of detonator performance using photonic Doppler velocimetry
Author(s): Matthew P. Maisey; Mike D. Bowden
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Paper Abstract

Detonators are used to convert electrical or other energy into an explosive output. This output can then be used to initiate further explosive charges. To aid in the development of explosive systems, it is important to characterize the output of detonators, in particularly the pressure produced. Recent advances over the last five years in high-speed digitizing oscilloscopes and high-bandwidth photodiodes, driven primarily by the telecommunications industry, have enabled the development of a new type of interferometer for measuring high velocities, such as those found in detonics experiments. The Photonic Doppler Velocimeter (PDV) can be visualized as a fiber-based Michelson interferometer. The light from a single-mode fiber laser at 1550 nm is passed through a circulator, which acts to separate bi-directional light. The beam is then reflected via free-space optics off the surface of interest, and then focused back into the same fiber. This reflected light is then mixed with an approximately equal amount of non-reflected light, and the resulting interference is recorded using a high-bandwidth photodiode and oscilloscope. In contrast to more traditional Velocimetry techniques such as VISAR, only a single data channel is required. We have used our PDV system to investigate the performance of optical and electrical detonators. The detonators examined are the commercially available RISI RP-80, and an AWE DOI (Direct Optical Initiation) detonator. The RP-80 is an exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonator, utilizing Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate as the initiating explosive and a RDX output pellet. The DOI detonator uses an aluminum flyer to initiate a Hexanitrostilbene (HNS) pellet. Both detonators are canned in aluminum and the velocity of the can was measured, and from this, the output pressure of the detonator has been determined. This is compared to calculated values.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7070, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV, 70700P (3 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.796267
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew P. Maisey, Atomic Weapons Establishment (United Kingdom)
Mike D. Bowden, Atomic Weapons Establishment (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7070:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing IV
Fred M. Dickey; Richard A. Beyer, Editor(s)

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