Electrically Responsive Energetics for Variable Yield Weapons

Period of Performance: 07/29/2014 - 04/24/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Solid State Propulsion LLC
5475 Louie Lane, Suite D
Reno, NV 89511
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


ABSTRACT: Digital Solid State Propulsion is proposing to develop an Electrically Variable Explosive (EVE) which, through direct electrical control, will provide on-demand sensitization and throttling for enhanced energy output in explosive fills. EVEs are based upon DSSP s Electric Solid Propellant (ESP) Technology which has demonstrated modified burning rates with electrical input, on/off operation in the sub-millisecond range, and the ability to generate plasma at low power while maintaining insensitive properties. DSSP will leverage this technology and concurrent efforts on DoD and commercial programs, to develop an energetic material for explosive applications. With the help of IllinoisRocstar LLC., DSSP will build a supporting multiphysics model for the EVE s and Safety Management Services Inc. will help prove the feasibility of electrically responsive explosives by demonstrating on-demand sensitization of EVEs with card gap testing. Successful conclusion of this effort will provide an explosive that, by application of electrical power, can be converted from an insensitive 1.3/1.4 hazard class material to a 1.1 detonable material. The effort will also validate the opportunity of exploration into advanced concepts with EVEs such as variation and enhancement of detonation velocities with electrical power. This novel family of materials will provide the responsive energetics needed for Air Force applications. BENEFIT: By developing this technology DOD has a viable approach to produce insensitive variable yield explosive warhead fills. Commercially variable yield explosives are most applicable to rock breaking for enhanced oil and gas recovery. Adjustable yield explosives can be used to adjust blast induced fracture density downhole.