Measurement of Aerial Shell Velocity

K.L. and B.J. Kosanke

Introduction: In addition to satisfying general curiosity, there are technical questions requiring knowledge of aerial shell velocity. For example, a calculation of how far down range aerial shells will have traveled at various times after having been fired from highly angled mortars requires knowledge of the shell’s muzzle velocity and its effective drag coefficient. In particular, the authors (along with Mark Williams) plan to determine the maximum horizontal range of aerial shells which burst after the normal time fuse delay. This study could be conducted empirically by firing different size shells from mortars at various angles. However, such an approach could be prohibitively expensive and time consuming, and it probably would not allow the examination of as many cases as desired. As an alternative, the question could be examined using a computer model of aerial shell ballistics.[1] This would be relatively inexpensive and any combination of shell velocity, shape, and mass; time fuse delay; and mortar angle could be considered. However, without verification using results from actual testing, the modeled results would always be at least a little suspect. Accordingly, the best choice is to conduct a number of field tests to verify the correct performance of the computer model, and then to model the cases of interest. This article is the first in a series, which will describe the down range study introduced above.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 3, (1993-1994), pp 56-61

© Journal of Pyrotechnics and CarnDu Ltd

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