Hypervelocity impact flash for missile-defense kill assessment and engagement analysis : experiments on Z. Page: 3 of 32
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Printed July 2005
Hypervelocity Impact Flash for Missile-Defense
Kill Assessment and Engagement Analysis:
Experiments on Z
R. J. Lawrence, W. D. Reinhart, L. C. Chhabildas, T. F. Thornhill, D. P. Kelly
Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-1186
Kill assessment continues to be a major problem for the nation's missile defense program.
A potential approach for addressing this issue involves spectral and temporal analysis of
the short-time impact flash that occurs when a kill vehicle intercepts and engages a target
missile. This can provide identification of the materials involved in the impact event,
which will, in turn, yield the data necessary for target identification, engagement analysis,
and kill assessment.
This report describes the first phases of a project under which we are providing
laboratory demonstrations of the feasibility and effectiveness of this approach. We are
using two major Sandia facilities, the Z-Pinch accelerator, and the two- and three-stage
gas guns at the Shock Thermodynamics and Applied Research (STAR) facility. We have
looked at the spectral content of impact flash at velocities up to 25 km/s on the Z-Pinch
machine to establish the capability for spectroscopy for these types of events, and are
looking at similar experiments at velocities from 6 to 11 km/s on the gas guns to
demonstrate a similar capability for a variety of research-oriented and applied materials.
The present report describes only the work performed on the Z machine.
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Thornhill, Tom Finley, III; Reinhart, William Dodd; Lawrence, Raymond Jeffery Jr.; Chhabildas, Lalit Chandra & Kelly, Daniel P. Hypervelocity impact flash for missile-defense kill assessment and engagement analysis : experiments on Z., report, July 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898483/m1/3/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.