skip to main content


Title: High-speed laser-launched flyer impacts studied with ultrafast photography and velocimetry

Pulsed lasers can launch thin metal foils at km s -1, but for precision measurements in shock compression science and shock wave spectroscopy, where one-dimensional shock compression is vital, flyer plate impacts with targets must have a high degree of flatness and minimal tilt, and the flyer speeds and impact times at the target must be highly reproducible. We have developed an apparatus that combines ultrafast stroboscopic optical microscopy with photon Doppler velocimetry to study impacts of laser-launched Al and Cu flyer plates with flat, transparent glass targets. The flyer plates were 0.5 mm in diameter, and ranged from 12-100 μm thick, with flyer speeds up to 6.25 km s -1. The velocity variations over 30-60 launches from the same flyer plate optic can be as low as 0.6%, and the impact time variations can be as low as 0.8 ns. Stroboscopic image streams (reconstructed movies) show uniform, flat impacts with a glass target. As a result, these stroboscopic images can be used to estimate the tilt in the flyer-target impact to be <1mrad.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2199-7446
Research Org:
Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; high-speed impact; flyer plate; shock generation; ultrafast microscopy
OSTI Identifier: