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Title: Simulation Study of Near-Surface Coupling of Nuclear Devices vs. Equivalent High-Explosive Charges

Abstract

A computational study was performed to examine the differences in near-surface ground-waves and air-blast waves generated by high-explosive energy sources and those generated by much higher energy - density low - yield nuclear sources. The study examined the effect of explosive-source emplacement (i.e., height-of-burst, HOB, or depth-of-burial, DOB) over a range from depths of -35m to heights of 20m, for explosions with an explosive yield of 1-kt . The chemical explosive was modeled by a JWL equation-of-state model for a ~14m diameter sphere of ANFO (~1,200,000kg – 1 k t equivalent yield ), and the high-energy-density source was modeled as a one tonne (1000 kg) plasma of ‘Iron-gas’ (utilizing LLNL’s tabular equation-of-state database, LEOS) in a 2m diameter sphere, with a total internal-energy content equivalent to 1 k t . A consistent equivalent-yield coupling-factor approach was developed to compare the behavior of the two sources. The results indicate that the equivalent-yield coupling-factor for air-blasts from 1 k t ANFO explosions varies monotonically and continuously from a nearly perfec t reflected wave off of the ground surface for a HOB ≈ 20m, to a coupling factor of nearly zero at DOB ≈ -25m. The nuclear air - blast coupling curve, onmore » the other hand, remained nearly equal to a perfectly reflected wave all the way down to HOB’s very near zero, and then quickly dropped to a value near zero for explosions with a DOB ≈ -10m. The near - surface ground - wave traveling horizontally out from the explosive source region to distances of 100’s of meters exhibited equivalent - yield coupling - factors t hat varied nearly linearly with HOB/DOB for the simulated ANFO explosive source, going from a value near zero at HOB ≈ 5m to nearly one at DOB ≈ -25m. The nuclear-source generated near-surface ground wave coupling-factor remained near zero for almost all HOB’s greater than zero, and then appeared to vary nearly - linearly with depth-of-burial until it reached a value of one at a DOB between 15m and 20m. These simulations confirm the expected result that the variation of coupling to the ground, or the air, change s much more rapidly with emplacement location for a high-energy-density (i.e., nuclear-like) explosive source than it does for relatively low - energy - density chemical explosive sources. The Energy Partitioning, Energy Coupling (EPEC) platform at LLNL utilizes laser energy from one quad (i.e. 4-laser beams) of the 192 - beam NIF Laser bank to deliver ~10kJ of energy to 1mg of silver in a hohlraum creating an effective small-explosive ‘source’ with an energy density comparable to those in low-yield nuclear devices. Such experiments have the potential to provide direct experimental confirmation of the simulation results obtained in this study, at a physical scale (and time-scale) which is a factor of 1000 smaller than the spatial- or temporal-scales typically encountered when dealing with nuclear explosions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1171337
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-662280
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUMM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE

Citation Formats

Fournier, Kevin B, Walton, Otis R, Benjamin, Russ, and Dunlop, William H. Simulation Study of Near-Surface Coupling of Nuclear Devices vs. Equivalent High-Explosive Charges. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1171337.
Fournier, Kevin B, Walton, Otis R, Benjamin, Russ, & Dunlop, William H. Simulation Study of Near-Surface Coupling of Nuclear Devices vs. Equivalent High-Explosive Charges. United States. doi:10.2172/1171337.
Fournier, Kevin B, Walton, Otis R, Benjamin, Russ, and Dunlop, William H. Mon . "Simulation Study of Near-Surface Coupling of Nuclear Devices vs. Equivalent High-Explosive Charges". United States. doi:10.2172/1171337. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1171337.
@article{osti_1171337,
title = {Simulation Study of Near-Surface Coupling of Nuclear Devices vs. Equivalent High-Explosive Charges},
author = {Fournier, Kevin B and Walton, Otis R and Benjamin, Russ and Dunlop, William H},
abstractNote = {A computational study was performed to examine the differences in near-surface ground-waves and air-blast waves generated by high-explosive energy sources and those generated by much higher energy - density low - yield nuclear sources. The study examined the effect of explosive-source emplacement (i.e., height-of-burst, HOB, or depth-of-burial, DOB) over a range from depths of -35m to heights of 20m, for explosions with an explosive yield of 1-kt . The chemical explosive was modeled by a JWL equation-of-state model for a ~14m diameter sphere of ANFO (~1,200,000kg – 1 k t equivalent yield ), and the high-energy-density source was modeled as a one tonne (1000 kg) plasma of ‘Iron-gas’ (utilizing LLNL’s tabular equation-of-state database, LEOS) in a 2m diameter sphere, with a total internal-energy content equivalent to 1 k t . A consistent equivalent-yield coupling-factor approach was developed to compare the behavior of the two sources. The results indicate that the equivalent-yield coupling-factor for air-blasts from 1 k t ANFO explosions varies monotonically and continuously from a nearly perfec t reflected wave off of the ground surface for a HOB ≈ 20m, to a coupling factor of nearly zero at DOB ≈ -25m. The nuclear air - blast coupling curve, on the other hand, remained nearly equal to a perfectly reflected wave all the way down to HOB’s very near zero, and then quickly dropped to a value near zero for explosions with a DOB ≈ -10m. The near - surface ground - wave traveling horizontally out from the explosive source region to distances of 100’s of meters exhibited equivalent - yield coupling - factors t hat varied nearly linearly with HOB/DOB for the simulated ANFO explosive source, going from a value near zero at HOB ≈ 5m to nearly one at DOB ≈ -25m. The nuclear-source generated near-surface ground wave coupling-factor remained near zero for almost all HOB’s greater than zero, and then appeared to vary nearly - linearly with depth-of-burial until it reached a value of one at a DOB between 15m and 20m. These simulations confirm the expected result that the variation of coupling to the ground, or the air, change s much more rapidly with emplacement location for a high-energy-density (i.e., nuclear-like) explosive source than it does for relatively low - energy - density chemical explosive sources. The Energy Partitioning, Energy Coupling (EPEC) platform at LLNL utilizes laser energy from one quad (i.e. 4-laser beams) of the 192 - beam NIF Laser bank to deliver ~10kJ of energy to 1mg of silver in a hohlraum creating an effective small-explosive ‘source’ with an energy density comparable to those in low-yield nuclear devices. Such experiments have the potential to provide direct experimental confirmation of the simulation results obtained in this study, at a physical scale (and time-scale) which is a factor of 1000 smaller than the spatial- or temporal-scales typically encountered when dealing with nuclear explosions.},
doi = {10.2172/1171337},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Sep 29 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Sep 29 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

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