High-speed multi-frame laser schlieren for visualization of explosive events

S. A. Clarke, M. J. Murphy, C. D. Landon, T. A. Mason, Ronald Adrian, A. A. Akinci, M. E. Martinez, K. A. Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


High-Speed Multi-Frame Laser Schlieren is used for visualization of a range of explosive and non-explosive events. Schlieren is a well-known technique for visualizing shock phenomena in transparent media. Laser backlighting and a framing camera allow for Schlieren images with very short (down to 5 ns) exposure times, band pass filtering to block out explosive self-light, and 14 frames of a single explosive event. This diagnostic has been applied to several explosive initiation events, such as exploding bridgewires (EBW), Exploding Foil Initiators (EFI) (or slappers), Direct Optical Initiation (DOI), and ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD). Additionally, a series of tests have been performed on "cut-back" detonators with varying initial pressing (IP) heights. We have also used this Diagnostic to visualize a range of EBW, EFI, and DOI full-up detonators. The setup has also been used to visualize a range of other explosive events, such as explosively driven metal shock experiments and explosively driven microjets. Future applications to other explosive events such as boosters and IHE booster evaluation will be discussed. Finite element codes (EPIC, CTH) have been used to analyze the schlieren images to determine likely boundary or initial conditions to determine the temporal-spatial pressure profile across the output face of the detonator. These experiments are part of a phased plan to understand the evolution of detonation in a detonator from initiation shock through run to detonation to full detonation to transition to booster and booster detonation. LA-UR-07-5211. W-6-07-0135U.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing III
StatePublished - 2007
EventOptical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 29 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Detonators
  • Explosives
  • Finite element simulation
  • High speed videography
  • Schlieren

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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