Direct Air Blast Exposure Effects in Animals, Operation Upshot-Knothole, Project 4.2

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Project 4.2 was designed to study direct (primary) air blast injury, in animals, from an atomic weapon in the range of 20 to 50 psi under circumstances affording protection against missiles, thermal and ionizing radiation and to estimate the probable direct air blast hazard in man. The pressure levels at which atomic weapons direct air blast injuries occur will determine, to a large extent, the number of blast casualties likely to be encountered. It is probable that fatal overpressures are not reached until well within the range at which indirect (secondary) blast, thermal and ionizing radiation are practically certain to ... continued below

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Draeger, R. H. & Lee, R. H. December 31, 1953.

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  • Main Title: Direct Air Blast Exposure Effects in Animals, Operation Upshot-Knothole, Project 4.2
  • Series Title: Operation Upshot-Knothole

Description

Project 4.2 was designed to study direct (primary) air blast injury, in animals, from an atomic weapon in the range of 20 to 50 psi under circumstances affording protection against missiles, thermal and ionizing radiation and to estimate the probable direct air blast hazard in man. The pressure levels at which atomic weapons direct air blast injuries occur will determine, to a large extent, the number of blast casualties likely to be encountered. It is probable that fatal overpressures are not reached until well within the range at which indirect (secondary) blast, thermal and ionizing radiation are practically certain to prove fatal. Only in special situations affording partial protection from other injuries are blast injuries likely to be of practical importance. Two animal species of widely different body weights (700 rats and 56 dogs) were exposed, together with air pressure recorders, in aluminum cylinders, covered by sandbags and dirt but open at both ends, at seven stations distributed within the intended overpressure range of 20 to 50 psi of Shot 10« About 200 rats were likewise exposed in Shot 9. Unfortunately, the destructive effect of the air blast of Shot 10 was much greater than anticipated. Many of the exposure cylinders were displaced and their contents destroyed. Only a partial recovery of the animals was possible due to the excessive radioactive contamination which greatly limited the time in the area. Most of the animals were dead upon recovery. Those living were in a state of severe shock. Autopsy findings showed remarkably few traumatic lesions and lung hemorrhages in spite of the rough treatment and high overpressure to which they were subjected. The rats recovered from Shot 9 were exposed to a recorded pressure of 18 to 2k psi. The autopsy findings showed moderate lung hemorrhage in most of the animals undoubtedly due to direct air blast injury. The findings were typical of those seen following exposure to air blast from HE or in the shock tube. The agreement between the estimated pressures and the recorded pressures in the containers were good in some instances but not in others. Discounting the initial pressure rise, it was thought that the records represent the pressure changes in the exposure containers. The individual records exhibited rather wide variations in recorded pressures indicating a complex pressure field. The attempt to compare levels of direct air blast in small and large animals, and thereby to extrapolate to man, was not accomplished due to the lack of statistically reliable data on the dogs. The lapse of time between the death of the dogs and autopsy reduced the interpretable findings below the level required for statistical significance. Laboratory studies are planned to evaluate the relative importance of the several blast wave parameters in the production of injury, Recommendations for future field test studies will depend upon the outcome of this laboratory work.

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  • Report No.: WT-744
  • Grant Number: none
  • DOI: 10.2172/1060502 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1060502
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830570

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 31, 1953

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 29, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

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Draeger, R. H. & Lee, R. H. Direct Air Blast Exposure Effects in Animals, Operation Upshot-Knothole, Project 4.2, report, December 31, 1953; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830570/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.