WSU's NIAR opens new Ballistics and Impact Dynamics Lab
Aug 14, 2014 9:17 AM | Print
Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research recently opened a new Ballistics and Impact Dynamics Research Lab in the former Britt Brown Arena at the Kansas Coliseum.
The new ballistics lab, part of NIAR's environmental Test Labs, uses a custom built ballistic firing device to propel 22-50 caliber rounds into components inside a concrete containment building. The test is designed to simulate the impact of a structural failure on the aircraft.
The lab, led by director Paul Jonas, is one-of-a-kind and was designed specifically to better understand the dynamics of impact and material performance.
"Traditional ballistic test ranges are hard to access and provide little information to the designer on how to make the product safer and more reliable," said Jonas. "This lab couples the material and analytical strengths of NIAR with a unique ability to capture data about the impact event and how the material behaves under those conditions."
The lab's headquarters is a control tower built on the side of the former arena, which overlooks and monitors all activities. Testing occurs within a heavily reinforced 25-by-25-foot concrete containment building that is designed to capture ballistic rounds and contain potential failure of pressurized oxygen bottles.
The firing range consists of a unique containment concept in which the ballistic firing device can be easily relocated, yet provide the security of containing the projectile. The containment tower can also be used for drop tests up to 35 feet. High speed cameras and data recording equipment are an essential element of the lab.
"Everything in this lab had to be designed from scratch as there is nothing like it that we know of," said Jonas. "The lab utilizes technologies from various engineering disciplines."
The lab also employs several WSU students, including William Klausmeyer, sophomore in electrical engineering, who designed the lab's control panel and fire control software.
"The use of students on this project was important because they all brought in fresh, outside-the-box ideas and solutions," said Jonas.
The lab's capabilities include the ability to accommodate various projectile styles including tumbling rounds, over-pressure burst testing and high-risk testing, ballistic impact of materials or structure under load, ballistic protection and impact loading, test of pressure vessels and oxygen tanks, bonfire testing and environmental testing. Rounds can be fired from 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet.
The lab is also planning to add bird-strike and high velocity projectile capabilities later this year. The new test facility will be adjacent to the ballistic range and operated from the same control tower.
Rhatigan Renewal revives campus life
WSU dedicates building named for former president
Innovative splint developed by WSU researchers
Students feel at home in Shocker Hall
WSU expansion will support job growth, innovation
Wichita State Musical Theater presents 'The Spitfire Grill'
Economic Outlook Conference, Oct. 9
History Department special presentation
Workshop to prepare students for ACT
Nursing student workshop to be held at WSU
WSU hosting 'Writing Now, Reading Now' series
WSU to host ACT Math Workshop
David Cabela to speak at WSU forum
Constitution Day activity at WSU
The Elliott School of Communication turns 25
Kansas Council for Economic Education receives grant
Ray to discuss photography at reception
Students, community welcome at WSU outdoor movie
AQR holiday travel forecast: Book early
CEDBR now offers indicators in optimal format
WSU finance students study the market in real time
Tree planting honors WSU's KBOR anniversary
WSU's Barton School gets new interim dean
WSU School of Nursing one of 100 schools chosen
STEMpact2020 gets coordinator