Impact chamber with fuselage demonstration panel (left) and gas gun muzzle (right)
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Test setup for bird strike on helicopter pilot windshield
Typical projectiles from foreign object damage in aeronautics
The Institute of Structure and Design operates several gas guns for high-velocity impact (HVI) experiments. Currently various barrels with calibres between 12 and 200 mm are available, in which projectiles between approx. 1 g and 7 kg can be accelerated. Scenarios involving impact velocities between 50 and 500 m/s depending on the projectile weight are possible.
The purpose of the gas gun facility is to reproduce all civil impact scenarios in aeronautics, which may occur in operation, to support design development and validate concepts. Additional topics are impact load cases typical for high-speed rail applications.
The range of projectiles covers:
Typical data recorded during testing includes projectile velocity and videography of the impact process by high-speed digital cameras. The latter can be set up for digital image correlation (DIC). Data from load cells or strain gauges can also be sampled by transient recorders synchronised to the high-speed film exposure.
After high-velocity investigation, test articles can be inspected using imaging methods such as ultrasonics (US), thermography and computed tomography (CT), which are all available at the institute.