Cleaning Up Code for
Pyrotechnic Shock Analysis

In the search for more efficient spacecraft and reusable equipment, industry leaders are taking on the challenges to analyze data and optimize for the safest and most economical protocols.

As multistage rockets leaving the earth's atmosphere detach primary stages using pyrotechnic charges, these charges produce shock that can travel along the whole structure [1]. Data from the shock is stored as a cumulative set called the Shock Response Spectrum (SRS).

Using the SRS, we can conduct experiments on the data, testing variables of shock for results in simulated materials [2]. It is through this information that the spacecraft materials, structure, and testing processes can be improved for cheaper, more efficient, and better spacecraft [1] [2].

Previous research at Olin College on the topic has provided MATLAB tools designed to analyze provided SRS data with several variables as described above, courtesy of Charles Gwennap (c/o 2015). Work this year has been focused on improving the design with the user in mind. Current updates for the project include repairs to old iterations of code, option to sweep multiple values of a variable, a new user-friendly interface for easier usage. Moreover, data found using the script has an optimized output for use in subsequent simulation programs.

Additional preliminary testing has been attempted on simulation software.

This project is ongoing and will be continuing in the near future with intent to testing data provided by the MATLAB script in a simulation of accurate materials. The findings from this study will then be applied to testing in larger labs at MIT with testing equipment available.

[2] Irvine, Tom. "AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SHOCK RESPONSE SPECTRUM." Vibration Data. 9 July 2012. Web. 1 May 2015. .