A “soft catch” is a device with which an explosively formed projectile can be decelerated to zero velocity without sustaining significant damage. The recovered projectile provides data, via metallurgical analysis, on the deformation conditions found within the explosively formed projectile. At Eglin AFB, FL, the soft catch consists of a sequence of sections (Figures 1–3), each roughly one meter long, filled with various soft media. Velocity screens are placed at the entrance and exit of each section. This enables investigators to experimentally determine the time at which the projectile passes each station in the catch. Based on these experimental measurements, average velocity estimates for each section of the soft catch can be made. The purpose of this paper is to support the soft catch design process with a one-dimensional analysis. The mathematical modeling is based on observations presented in studies by Allen, Mayfield, and Morrison [1,2]. Their work addresses the penetration of sand, but their modeling is appropriate for materials in the soft catch. The current paper describes application of their model to interpreting three soft catch experiments where Tantalum projectiles with initial velocities of approximately 1400 m/s were successfully recovered.

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