Laser Diode Initiation of Primary Explosives

Period of Performance: 09/01/1993 - 08/31/1995


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

PAI Research Ltd.
5202 Westland Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21117
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


In Phase I PAI Research Ltd. (PRL) has drastically reduced the laser energy required to initiate lead azide by employing doping techniques. Thus, the cw IR power requirement has been brought down from 200 mw to 30 mw and the pulse energy from 2.5 mj to 0.21 mj for dopant concentration as little as 0.2 wt%. We have also successfully initiated our doped lead azide samples simply by focusing the sun's radiatins. If the threshold initiation power requirement is further brought down from 30 mw to l0 mw, the cost goes down from $300 to $30. (Costwise, our present Phase I efforts have already brought the cost from $l200 to $300-$150). In Phase II, PRL is proposing improvements in doping techniques which will enable the doped lead azide to be initiated by l0 mw laser diode. We will also carry out experiments to undrstand our Phase I observation that green light is ten times more efficient than IR in initiating lead azide and further extend the concept to blue light initiation.