Since the summer of 1963, when the Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s Hypervelocity Ballistic Range-G came into operation, the facility has tested items for boundary-layer studies to hypersonic plasma mitigation studies.
The range is used to conduct kinetic energy lethality and impact phenomenology tests. It is the largest two-stage, light-gas gun system in the U.S. that provides “soft launch”, minimized acceleration loading, capability to launch extremely high-fidelity missile simulation at hypervelocity speeds.
Range-G is capable of launching projectiles at velocities up to 23,000 feet per second. Projectiles up to eight inches in diameter are launched into a 10-foot diameter, 930-foot long instrumented tank that can be maintained at pressure altitudes from sea level to 225,000 feet.
The use of 3-D finite-element analysis software, ABAQUS, coupled with the AEDC light-gas gun code provides a seamless projectile design capability.
The unique ability to duplicate real flight, although at subscale, makes it the ideal facility for a variety of testing requirements such as, aerodynamic, aerothermal heating assessments, wake physics and material phenomenology.