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Aeroballistic and Impact Physics Research at EMI

An Historical Overview
Aeroballistik- und Impaktforschung am EMI - Ein geschichtlicher Überblick
: Hohler, V.; Stilp, A.J.


International Journal of Impact Engineering 17 (1995), S.785-805
ISSN: 0734-743X
Fraunhofer EMI ()
aeroballistics; Aeroballistik; Beschleuniger; Blitz; drag coefficient; Endballistik; gas gun; Gaskanone; Giotto-Sonde; Giotto span probe; launcher; penetration; rod projectile; sabot; Schattenaufnahme; shadowgraph; spark light; Stabprojektil; Taylor test; terminal ballistics; Treibspiegel; two-stage light gas gun; Widerstandsbeiwert; zweistufige Leichtgaskanone

On the occasion of the Distinguished Scientist Award presentation at HVIS 1992, the technical and scientific promotion of the Impact Physics Division at EMI in the field of aeroballistics, free flight dynamics, terminal ballistics and impact physics is described. This development is closely related to the work of the recipients. The activities began in the late fifties when a small pressurized ballistic range with a gas gun was built. The problems to construct a well working facility with observation stations are reported that arose, at those early times, from the lack of experience, money and suitable locations. In the mid-sixties, the experimental possibilities were extended by building a two-stage light gas gun that could also be used as a gun tunnel. These facilities have been the foundation for research in the field of free flight aerodynamics, such as the study of near and far wakes behind a blunt hypersonic body or the study of shock wave boundary layer interactions. In 1972, th e division took the first step into terminal ballistics and, because of increasing interest, impact physics became the main research area. The division grew and with it the instrumentation. Today, diverse gas guns, powder guns and two-stage light gas guns are in operation. One topic of main interest during the years has been the penetration of rod shaped projectiles. Here the best-known result may be mentioned, the so-called 'Hohler-Stilp S-shaped penetration curves`. In addition to this, many other topics have been investigated that can be summarized under the title "penetration mechanics and impact physics". Based on a well developed launching technique and instrumentation, problems were investigated at low velocities of a few hundred m/s, at ordnance velocities and especially at hypervelocities up to 10 km/s. It has been recognized that dynamic material behavior and microstructural effects play an important role in understanding the interaction of projectiles with targets. Therefore , a VISAR, an electronic raster microscope, a Hopkinson bar and further equipment have been installed. Basing on the work of a period of more than 20 years, EMI has come into contact with national and foreign institutions and has become a partner for many cooperations.