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Explosion Metrology: A better bang for your buck?
Keywords: Extreme, Explosion, Metrology
Until the end of the Cold War in the 1980s, armament development focused on developing ever larger and destructive explosive devices. During the 90s, the technology was developed so as to improve the delivery and accuracy of such devices; as publicized during the first Gulf War. Since the terrorist attacks of 9 11 in 2001, Western powers have had to reconsider aspects of armament development, so as to address the threat of small improvised explosive devices containing nuclear, biological or chemical materials. Consequently, organizations such as the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency have focused efforts on creating counter-measures better equipped to neutralize such threats. The act of collecting data from explosions is known as explosion metrology. Historically such metrology developed by sampling data from the environment surrounding the explosion and extrapolating towards the epicenter of the explosion. However, a new methodology and associated instrumentation is required if the purpose of explosion metrology is to sample data which may be used to ascertain the efficacy or otherwise of one explosion device in neutralizing the threat of another. This suggests the use of an instrument capable of sampling data from the target of an explosion in real time. This paper describes the development of instrumentation designed for this purpose, specifically an extremely durable, high temperature SoI ASIC and associated components. The paper considers; the explosive environment; data sampling issues; environmental challenges; the philosophy adopted to minimize device failure and destruction; the design process together with a presentation of results taken from the field.
Greg Horler, Chief Scientist
Instrumentel Ltd.
Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9JT,
UK


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