In the fields of space engineering and planetary science, hypervelocity impact phenomena have been studied as they relate to the space debris problem and planetary impact. With regard to hypervelocity-impact-induced damage, many studies focus on the evaluation of impact-damage geometry and morphology, for example, to construct the ballistic limit equations and/or penetrating equations for space structures, and to predict the size and shape of crater and fragments generated by planetary impact [1-4]. While the final state or late stage of an impact event are of primal interest, damage accumulation at early stages affect the overall outcome of the impact event. The understanding of hypervelocity-impact-damage processes lead to improvement of material-response models for hypervelocity impact and higher fidelity simulations of hypervelocity impact events. Under such a background, we have performed real-time imaging of hypervelocity-impact events on transparent materials to investigate the impact-damage formation and evolution processes [5-7]. In our previous work, the stress-wave-propagation behavior and damage evolution were observed by means of a transmitted light shadowgraph. In these measurements, the shape of the longitudinal-stress-wave front, crater and spall fracture were successfully visualized. On the other hand, these shadowgraph images provide little information about damage microstructure. The shadowgraph has difficulty in visualizing ramped waves, such as the release wave, and also for the shear wave which is not accompanied by the change of volumetric strain. Those play important role in initiating damage. This occurs because the intensity of the shadowgraph image depends on the second spatial derivative of the refractive index. In this study, we try two types of real-time imaging of impact events. One is imaging by using scattered light on the impacted target to visualize the microstructure of the impact-induced damage, the other is a shadowgraph using polarized light to visualize propagation of the impact-induced stress field.

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