Defense Systems Digest - 04 December 2018 / (Photo Credit: eArmor Strike Now)

Notable Technical Inquiry

What information is readily available in regards to type classification of a specific low recoil gun system?

DSIAC staff reviewed titles and abstracts from a Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) literature search, performed open source searches, and extracted excerpts from...

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Voice From The Community

Jason Phillips
Sandia National Laboratories, Energetics Characterization

My organization is currently supporting energetic design/production efforts. This includes energetics formulation/synthesis, live component disassembly, surveillance, accelerated aging, and small-scale sensitivity testing. We also support other programs through the DoD, DoJ, and DHS. These can include improvised/homemade explosives, explosives detection and render safe operations. One of the most interesting parts of my position is that I get detailed hands-on experience with an extensive variety of explosive components and materials. I also find my personal training and support of our military EOD and law enforcement personnel especially gratifying.

Featured News

Advancements in Minimum Signature (MS) Propellants for Insensitive Munitions (IM) Rocket Motors

An extensive summary of contemporary research and development into MS rocket motor propellants is provided, with emphasis on achieving IM compliance. MS propellants have existed since the late 1800s and continue to progressively improve. Developing cast-cure formulations in the 1970s, as opposed to extruded compositions, has opened avenues for developing highly energetic compositions for advanced rockets in use today. However, high energy has led to high sensitivity, especially to shock and impact stimuli. The need for less-sensitive munitions and the advent of IM policies and requirements since the early 1980s have led to a wide range of research and development into reducing the sensitivity of MS rocket propellants. This report covers the development and testing of a variety of MS propellants occurring among many government laboratories and defense contractors over the past 30+ years. It summarizes propellant compositions and properties, while mainly focusing on methods for reducing shock sensitivity and achieving IM characteristics. Information and IM test data on formulations based on energetic binders and oxidizers are discussed, along with compositions that use less-sensitive new materials. Although significant progress has been realized, especially in providing less-sensitive propellants readied for qualification in new propulsion systems, strict compliance to all IM criteria has yet to be achieved. Insensitivity to high-velocity impact tests has been especially difficult to solve and has been achieved with limited compositions. Research continues in modifying existing materials and creating new materials which may aid in progressing toward less-sensitive MS propellants for future applications.