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HSX combines a state-of-the-art high-speed camera operating at speeds of up to a million frames per second with continuous X-ray recording to measure how projectiles and fragment impact with protective armour, clothing or helmets. Previously, using these techniques in tandem was a time-consuming process requiring careful planning to precisely coordinate the photographic exposure with a one-off X-ray “flash”. And because the HSX recording omits the light and smoke emitted during an explosion, the volume and accuracy of the information obtained are greater than ever before.
“HSX is simply unique – a world first,” says TNO’s Boy Kodde. “In just a single test, this technique provides detailed information on a projectile’s behaviour. With a clear view of the object material’s interior, you can see how the projectile penetrates it. For example, whether it twists sideways or disintegrates. And you can see what’s happening to the material itself. What is its first reaction? Does a fabric tear, for example? Or does it stretch first and, if so, how far? It’s important to know this, as it determines whether the projectile is ultimately stopped. With HSX, we can actually see the interaction taking place.”
TNO is currently sounding out potential industrial partners to help develop commercial applications for HSX. For manufacturers of ballistic materials, personal protective equipment and ammunition, the technique could pave the way for exciting new projects. And for the men and women serving at the sharp end, in the armed forces, the police or the emergency services, it has real potential to make life significantly safer.
You are invited to learn more about the technique’s unique capabilities and to find out what TNO can do for you by contacting Boy Kodde of the LBR. For details see www.tno.nl/ballistics or watch the animation below.