Development of High-Fidelity Modeling Tools to Predict Radiative Signatures from Hypervelocity Impact Flash Events

Period of Performance: 03/26/2007 - 09/26/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Prism Computational Sciences, Inc.
455 Science Drive Suite 140
Madison, WI 53711
Principal Investigator


The objective of this proposal is to develop and validate first-principles modeling tools that will significantly advance the use of spectroscopic techniques for identifying materials present in hypervelocity impact events. Impact flash spectroscopy (IFS) has the potential to identify the presence of special nuclear materials (SNM) during the impact flash phase of hypervelocity interceptor-missile collisions. Utilization of IFS as a reliable approach for missile defense engagement analysis requires a well-developed predictive capability for the evolution of the gas and particulate environment created during the impact. This can be accomplished with the use of well-tested and benchmarked codes that simulate both the hydrodynamic breakup of the target and interceptor debris and the spectral emission originating during the impact flash phase. During Phase I, we propose to utilize data obtained in laboratory impact flash experiments to: develop an understanding of the spectral radiation output, and the physical conditions of the gas/particulates generated in the experiments; and assess the reliability of state-of-the-art shock-physics and spectral codes in simulating impact flash emission. We will identify new modeling techniques needed for advancing IFS simulation capabilities, and, during Phase II, develop, upgrade and validate enhanced modeling tools to support the accurate simulation of hypervelocity engagements.