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18 August 2005 Optical triggering for enhanced safety
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Firing systems typically incorporate isolation-based architectures that are established by the safety themes of particular weapon systems. Robust electrical diversion barriers are implemented to isolate energy from detonation-critical components until the event of intended use of the system. An optical trigger assembly is being developed to enhance the safety of new firing systems. It couples a fast trigger signal through an exclusion region barrier without compromising the integrity of the barrier in abnormal environment situations. A laser diode generates an optical pulse that is coupled through a sapphire stub to a photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS). The PCSS drives a vacuum switch tube to complete the triggering chain in the firing system. A general discussion and comparison of triggering technology options, and the design characteristics and performance parameters of the specific optical trigger point design are presented in this paper.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Pat Smith, Clif Briner, Todd Plichta, Richard Shagam, Alan Mar, Mike Cich, Albert Baca, Dennis Martin, and Glenn Omdahl "Optical triggering for enhanced safety", Proc. SPIE 5871, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing, 587103 (18 August 2005);


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