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Proceedings Paper

System For Determining The Velocities Of Individual Fragments From An Exploding Warhead Using High Speed Photography
Author(s): Donald Hollingworth; Hendrik J. van der Merwe
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Paper Abstract

When a fragmentation warhead explodes, fragments are hurled outwards in all directions and in effect become projectiles with a capacity for inflicting damage on nearby objects. For kinetic energy calculations it is necessary to know both the mass and velocity of the fragments. These velocities can most easily be ascertained by the use of high speed photography. Owing to the considerable difference in speed between the fastest and slowest fragments emanating from an exploding warhead, a high speed motion picture camera, framing at the rate of 10 000 pictures per second, has been found to be a good medium for measuring their velocities. For instance velocity measurement tests have shown that over a distance of five metres from the centre of the warhead to the edges of the velocity plates, the difference in speed between the fastest and slowest fragments from an exploding 460 kg warhead covers a time span of at least 1 millisecond. This would represent 10 frames on a film running at the rate of 10 000 pictures per second. This paper will set forth the operating principles of the high speed photographic measuring techniques and the degree of accuracy which can be expected from it. Throughout the text the term warhead has been used to describe any fragmenting high explosive shell, bomb, rocket warhead, grenade or other explosive munitions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1983
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 0348, 15th Intl Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics, (1 March 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.967722
Show Author Affiliations
Donald Hollingworth, Naschem (Pty) Ltd. (Republic of South Africa)
Hendrik J. van der Merwe, Naschem (Pty) Ltd. (Republic of South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0348:
15th Intl Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics
Lincoln L. Endelman, Editor(s)

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