The U.S. Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are currently developing a Multi-Energy Flash Computed Tomography (MEFCT) diagnostic for multi-frame, in situ, three-dimensional radiographic assessment of ballistic impact phenomena. To accomplish this, we combine the capabilities of medical X-ray computed tomography and high-speed computed tomography, to produce a system that captures three independent, time-sequenced volume reconstructions throughout the timespan of a typical dynamic ballistic event. Because this system has the capability to image an event across three spatial dimensions and time, it is the first of its kind to track mass/material-flux of an un-bounded system through a volume at ballistic timescales.

To demonstrate the diagnostic’s capabilities, an assessment of a bullet penetrating an aluminum plate is performed. A compilation of the three volume reconstructions were computed to describe the event. The results were compared to a state-of-the-art simulation of the event using EPIC, a Lagrangian hydrocode with penetration applications. This comparison shows how using a four-dimensional computed tomography system can benefit the validation of physical failure and mass/material-flow models.

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