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Title: Climatological assessment of airblast propagations from explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range

Abstract

Atmospheric acoustic refraction, by upper air temperature and wind strata, may duct and focus explosion airblast waves, sometimes causing nuisance level damages at several times the normal distances. Large explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range may thus threaten window damage, with possible hazard from falling glass, in various surrounding communities. To establish what explosion yields may be reasonably contemplated (with acceptable delays) and the best time of year for these tests, a climatological assessment has been prepared from five years of upper air weather observations made at the Albuquerque and El Paso airports. Each twice-daily radiosonde balloon observation from each station was analyzed to show the refracting sound velocity versus height structure for all directions, the attenuating or amplifying effect on the yield-dependent explosion airblast wave, and the blast overpressure expected at each incremental area of a polar coordinate grid out to 325 km distance. It was assumed that tests would be conducted near the warmest time of the day. Population census data allowed an estimation of the number of window panes exposed in each area. A relationship between overpressure and window breakage probability was then used to calculate the expected damage from a test under the observed weathermore » condition. Assuming that 25 broken windows could be accepted, each day was categorized as good, bad, or marginal. Climatological results are shown in various formats for the occurrences of these categories. The broad conclusions are: The best season for testing is from may through September (based on this single test consideration). In summer, there should be few delays for 500 ton HE equivlent explosions, but about a 40% likelihood of not firing 8 kt HE on a given day, and very little chance of ever firing 50 kt HE. 24 refs., 15 figs., 10 tabs.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA). Ground Motion and Seismic Div.
OSTI Identifier:
5324862
Report Number(s):
SAND-86-1346
ON: DE86014942
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-76DP00789
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products. Original copy available until stock is exhausted
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; EXPLOSIONS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; SOUND WAVES; REFRACTION; WINDOWS; BLAST EFFECTS; CLIMATES; DAMAGE; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; VARIATIONS; DATA; INFORMATION; NUMERICAL DATA; OPENINGS; 500100* - Environment, Atmospheric- Basic Studies- (-1989); 450100 - Military Technology, Weaponry, & National Defense- Chemical Explosions & Explosives

Citation Formats

Reed, J W. Climatological assessment of airblast propagations from explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range. United States: N. p., 1986. Web.
Reed, J W. Climatological assessment of airblast propagations from explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range. United States.
Reed, J W. Fri . "Climatological assessment of airblast propagations from explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range". United States.
@article{osti_5324862,
title = {Climatological assessment of airblast propagations from explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range},
author = {Reed, J W},
abstractNote = {Atmospheric acoustic refraction, by upper air temperature and wind strata, may duct and focus explosion airblast waves, sometimes causing nuisance level damages at several times the normal distances. Large explosion tests at White Sands Missile Range may thus threaten window damage, with possible hazard from falling glass, in various surrounding communities. To establish what explosion yields may be reasonably contemplated (with acceptable delays) and the best time of year for these tests, a climatological assessment has been prepared from five years of upper air weather observations made at the Albuquerque and El Paso airports. Each twice-daily radiosonde balloon observation from each station was analyzed to show the refracting sound velocity versus height structure for all directions, the attenuating or amplifying effect on the yield-dependent explosion airblast wave, and the blast overpressure expected at each incremental area of a polar coordinate grid out to 325 km distance. It was assumed that tests would be conducted near the warmest time of the day. Population census data allowed an estimation of the number of window panes exposed in each area. A relationship between overpressure and window breakage probability was then used to calculate the expected damage from a test under the observed weather condition. Assuming that 25 broken windows could be accepted, each day was categorized as good, bad, or marginal. Climatological results are shown in various formats for the occurrences of these categories. The broad conclusions are: The best season for testing is from may through September (based on this single test consideration). In summer, there should be few delays for 500 ton HE equivlent explosions, but about a 40% likelihood of not firing 8 kt HE on a given day, and very little chance of ever firing 50 kt HE. 24 refs., 15 figs., 10 tabs.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5324862}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1986},
month = {8}
}

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