SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  DTRA102-011 (DTRA)
Title:  Advanced Diagnostics for Nuclear Weapons Effects Experimentation
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes, Nuclear Technology

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  To develop novel diagnostics to improve the accuracy of both test environment and test object response measurements during nuclear weapons effects (NWE) experiments. Improved diagnostic accuracy is needed to reduce the overall uncertainties in response models and design margins in support of the system certification and hardness surveillance processes.
  Description:  The development and sustainment of military systems that must operate in environments that have been disturbed by nuclear weapons requires a detailed understanding of the responses of all components of the system to all aspects of the threat environment. The environments and responses of concern here include: thermal through vacuum ultra-violet radiation; prompt x-rays; prompt and delayed gamma rays and neutrons; pumped electron radiation belts; electromagnetic pulse (EMP); Source Region EMP (SREMP); System Generated EMP (SGEMP); Box Internal EMP (IEMP); Transient Radiation Effects in Electronics (TREE); and Thermomechanical Effects (TME), including Thermostructural Response (TSR), Thermomechanical Shock (TMS), optical surface modification, and blow-off impulse. SGEMP and IEMP experiments in particular require the use of compact, non-perturbing D-dot and B-dot sensors to measure the local electric and magnetic fields that are induced by x-ray generated electron currents. Additionally, TME experiments need better diagnostics for localized stress, strain, and displacement in high radiation environments. The ability to model the performance of many pulsed-power driven radiation sources depends on knowing the voltages and currents reaching the load regions. The vacuum power transmission lines typically used have very harsh radiation, plasma and electron current environments that make measurements of average electric and magnetic fields difficult. Novel vacuum power flow diagnostics are needed to measure magnetic fields of 105-107 Gauss and electric fields of 107-109 Volts/meter with time resolution of nanoseconds. More accurate (< 5% uncertainty) diagnostics are needed of the dose, dose-rate, and spectrum of pulsed x-rays used in many NWE radiation experiments. In particular, accurate spectral diagnostics are needed for x-rays below 3 keV and for the 15-200 keV range. To be considered for funding, the proposed concepts must be shown to potentially lead to practical, affordable diagnostics that will result in reduced overall uncertainties in the critical parameters associated with a NWE experiment for component response or model validation.

  PHASE I: Develop a design concept for a new diagnostic, and demonstrate how it will improve the measurement accuracy of either the environments used in NWE experiments or the response of components or subsystems to the environments. The demonstration can be either physical or analytical, but the proof-of-concept/feasibility must also address the potential affordability and operability advantages of the concept.
  PHASE II: Develop prototype diagnostics that can be fielded on existing experimentation capabilities in association with either system or code NWE validation efforts. The results should be quantitatively compared to those of standard diagnostics fielded in the same environments. Relative cost/benefit studies should be performed to demonstrate the advantages of the new technology. The Phase II final report should include a development plan and partnering approach for follow-on production and commercial applications of the diagnostic.

  PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III should include applications of the diagnostic to commercial uses such as automotive engine monitoring; electromagnetic interference detection and control systems; and geophysics research.

  References:   1. Measurement of the deuterium liner characteristics in the inverse Z-pinch configuration, Bystritsky, V.; Dudkin, G.; Grebenyuk, V.; Gula, E.; Nechaev, B.; Padalko, V.; Parzhitski, S.; Pen'kov, F.; Ratakhin, N.; Sorokin, S.; Stolupin, V.; Wozniak, J.; Bystritskii, V.; Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2001. PPPS-2001. Digest of Technical Papers, Volume 2, 17-22 June 2001 Page(s):1031 - 1034 vol. 2. 2. B-dot Detector Signal Recording at the DARHT II Accelerator, Johnson, J.B.; Ekdahl, C.A.; Broste, W.B.; Pulsed Power Plasma Science, 2007. PPPS 2007. Conference Record - Abstracts. IEEE, 17-22 June 2007 Page(s):371 - 371. 3. Investigation of power flow to a plasma opening switch driven electron-beam diode, Black, D.C.; Boller, J.R.; Commisso, R.J.; Myers, M.C.; Rose, D.V.; Stephanakis, S.J.; Weber, B.V.; Weidenheimer, D.M.; Young, F.C.; Plasma Science, 1998. 25th Anniversary. IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. 1998 IEEE International on 1-4 June 1998 Page(s):146 - 147. 4. A low noise highly integrated bolometer array for absolute measurement of VUV and soft x radiation, Mast, K. F.; Vallet, J. C.; Andelfinger, C.; Betzler, P.; Kraus, H.; Schramm, G.; Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 62, Issue 3, Mar 1991 Page(s):744 - 750. 5. Electromagnetic pulses at short-pulse laser facilities, Jr, C. G.; Throop, A.; Eder, D.; Kimbrough, J. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2008-05-01 6. Infrared detection of free-field and cavity perturbations of electromagnetic probe measurements, Norgard, John D.; Sega, Ronald M.; Seifert, Michael F.; Cleary, John C.; Harrison, Michael G. 7. Proceedings of SPIE 1992-04-01

Keywords:  nuclear weapons effects (NWE), x-ray diagnostics, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), system generated EMP (SGEMP), thermomechanical effects (TME), vacuum power flow, stress and strain gauges, displacement gauges

Questions and Answers:
Q: Would a proposal that addressed a subset of the desired diagnotics necessary for NWE experiments be considered as addressing the topic?
A: Yes, we are interested in any new diagnostics that improve the accuracy of either the environment characterization or the test object response quantification.
Q: 1. Should the diagnostic(s) be designed for a specific type of load?
2. What type of load is DTRA most interested in?
A: 1. We are looking for innovations in diagnostics for many types of high current pulsed power systems that involve vacuum power flow and plasma loads.

2. We do not have a specific load in mind, but typical loads include: dense Z pinches or Dense Plasma Focus with > 2 MA current; or liner compressed magnetized plasmas.

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