Blast Mitigation

Ph.D. student: John Goetz, Huade Tan

Hummer Blast Illustration

Blast worthiness design using optimization techniques presents a new application for a well-understood method. The goal of blast mitigation is to maximize passenger safety during a blast event subject to certain geometric and manufacturing constraints. Physical nonlinearities are abundant in the process of a blast event. As with crash worthiness design problems investigated in the past, passenger safety can be interpreted as the objective of controlling the force transferred to the passenger with the geometric constraint of preserving the integrity of the cockpit. Unlike previous crash worthiness problems, the kinetic energy of the blast event is transferred to the passenger by means of a complex fluid interaction between the blast wave and the vehicle. The dynamics of such blast events and their interactions with solid structures is an area that has been extensively researched in the past. Similarly, shape and topology optimization for cobra humveeairfoil and diffuser applications have also been studied. In the current work, the approach of optimizing a fluid flow about a structure is investigated as a means of minimizing the interaction of the blast wave across the vehicle substructure. Incorporating multi domain optimization techniques, the topology optimization problem for blast mitigation can be dissected into multiple design domains with specific design objectives. The objective of this work is to develop the problem statement to generate a structure, which will interact with an incident fluid pressure wave to both absorb and deflect the kinetic energies released during a blast event.