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Proceedings Paper

Model for small arms fire muzzle blast wave propagation in air
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Paper Abstract

Accurate modeling of small firearms muzzle blast wave propagation in the far field is critical to predict sound pressure levels, impulse durations and rise times, as functions of propagation distance. Such a task being relevant to a number of military applications including the determination of human response to blast noise, gunfire detection and localization, and gun suppressor design. Herein, a time domain model to predict small arms fire muzzle blast wave propagation is introduced. The model implements a Friedlander wave with finite rise time which diverges spherically from the gun muzzle. Additionally, the effects in blast wave form of thermoviscous and molecular relaxational processes, which are associated with atmospheric absorption of sound were also incorporated in the model. Atmospheric absorption of blast waves is implemented using a time domain recursive formula obtained from numerical integration of corresponding differential equations using a Crank-Nicholson finite difference scheme. Theoretical predictions from our model were compared to previously recorded real world data of muzzle blast wave signatures obtained by shooting a set different sniper weapons of varying calibers. Recordings containing gunfire acoustical signatures were taken at distances between 100 and 600 meters from the gun muzzle. Results shows that predicted blast wave slope and exponential decay agrees well with measured data. Analysis also reveals the persistency of an oscillatory phenomenon after blast overpressure in the recorded wave forms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8184, Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks VIII, 81840B (29 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.903043
Show Author Affiliations
Juan R. Aguilar, Academia Politécnica Militar (Chile)
Sachi V. Desai, U.S. Army RDECOM (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8184:
Unmanned/Unattended Sensors and Sensor Networks VIII
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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