Micro-Particle Debris Characterization from Hyper-Velocity Impacts

Period of Performance: 03/20/2014 - 10/19/2014


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Torch Technologies, Inc.
4035 Chris Drive Array
Huntsville, AL 35802
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Sandia National Laboratories
PO Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185
Institution POC


The Torch Team is proposing to design and conduct laboratory-based experiments to elucidate the fundamental micro-debris formation mechanisms to improve intercept optical models. Ballistic missile intercept optical signatures collected over the last decade have identified definitive micro-debris parameter trends. These measurements place bounds on the debris temperature, number of particles, and particle size and velocity distributions. Analysis of multi-wavelength intercept signatures shows evidence for particle distributions of both low (e.g., metals) and high (e.g., carbon-based) emissivity. These experiments will provide data needed to improve hypervelocity impact micro-debris models. Moreover, a novel experiment is presented to validate radiometric inversion methodologies for determining micro-debris properties in ground and flight tests. Approved for Public Release 14-MDA-7663 (8 January 14)