14. Test Beds
Certain defects in the explosive charge of an artillery shell can cause the projectile to explode prematurely in the barrel of the launcher from which it is fired. The sensitivity of the radiographic technique presently used is limited by the large influence of the steel shell casing on the transmitted radiation. A filmless radiometric technique utilizing the basic radiation principle of Compton scattering, which will detect cavities in the explosive filler with minimal interference from the steel casing, has been identified and tested. By scanning the shell with a beam of radiation and observing the Compton scattering through a unique collimating system, it has been possible to detect voids as small as 1/16 inch in cross section. The hardware consists of the source, beam collimator, detector collimator, and a large plastic scintillator detector system. The projectile is inserted into the beam path and moved through a fixed scanning pattern by a mechanical handling system. The scanning sequence is computer contra ll ed and results in a threedimensional data matrix giving a direct representation of density within the projectile. Voids are identified and classified by computer analysis, and shell acceptability decisions are automatically generated. An engineering prototype system is currently being assembled and tested. (A production prototype conceptual design is concurrently under development.) This new technique will replace an existing film radiography inspection procedure and eliminate the need for human interpretation of the defects, while providing more consistent and reliable inspections at lower costs.
Weber, Hans; Trippe, A. P.; Costello, D.; Young, J. C.; Parks, L. A.; Preskitt, C. A.; and John, Joseph, "Automated Inspection Device for Explosive Charge in Shells - AIDECS" (1980). Proceedings of the DARPA/AFML Review of Progress in Quantitative NDE, July 1978–September 1979. 90.