A large number and variety of shock/transient acceleration loading cases are encountered in the service lives of weapon systems. The realistic, cost effective simulation of cases ranging from handling through launch to terminal impact presents many problems, but is essential to guarantee performance, safety and reliability of individual systems and components. This paper shows how relatively simple air gun techniques used in conjunction with a safe test cell can significantly enhance the realism, scope and scale of simulation. Developments in the techniques have resulted particularly from the use of modular construction methods, and the application of modern microcomputer and instrumentation methods.
In practice, the techniques described have evolved over many years at the author's company, driven by requirements from a wide range of weapons projects. Typical examples of applications from direct experience are given, including rocket motor launch simulation, flight retarder load simulation, pyrotechnic separation shock simulation, multiple ejection and angled impact.