THRUST AREA 4 – SCIENCE TO DEFEAT WMD

Thrust Area 4 explores new concepts for the prompt defeat of chemical and biological agents that pose an imminent WMD threat. Research areas of interest include enhancements to the DoD’s ability to field bomb/missile payloads that defeat chemical and biological weapons in seconds, without the need to access or control the site. Focus areas include:

Eliminate Collateral Effects

To eliminate collateral effects resulting from release of WMD to the environment, Thrust Area 4 focuses on energetic material formulations that generate high temperatures and release halogen-containing biocidal chemical species, with the goal of a 9-log reduction in quantity of active agent after a strike. Many of these materials also exhibit reduced overpressure compared to high explosives, thereby reducing the extent of the post-detonation plume.

Deny Adversary Sanctuary/Functional Defeat of Infrastructure

Adversaries often seek sanctuary in hard or deeply buried targets (HDBT), necessitating penetrating weapons to deliver the WMD- defeat payload. Research goals include deeper penetration to reach all WMD targets, avoidance of ‘J-hooking’ that would cause the weapon to miss the target, as well as understanding the physics of penetration in geomaterials, the collapse of bunkers or tunnels in these materials, and new friction- reducing weapon case materials. Thrust Area 4 has interest in research that investigates energetic materials with higher energy densities and materials that resist ignition and premature detonation.

Weapon & WMD Target Interaction

Responsible use of weapons requires knowing their effects and lethality, including the prediction of the possible spread of WMD during or after a strike. Few models have been validated experimentally and only recently have predictive software packages employed robust physics, thermodynamics, chemistry and turbulence calculations. Advanced modeling of the thermochemical environment produced by agent-defeat reactive materials will promote integration of this knowledge into computational simulation software.

For a list of what we have funded in the past, see our Complete Award History (Excel).


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