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Shock Measurements Based on Pendulum Excitation and Laser Doppler Velocimetry: Primary Calibration by SI-Traceable Distance Measurements



Muhammad Afridi, Jon C. Geist, Michael Gaitan


A new method is described to provide a primary calibration of shock measurements produced by a shock measurement system consisting of pendulum excitation and laser Doppler velocimetry. The method uses the laser Doppler velocimeter to determine the total distance traveled by a rigid block that slides along a Teflon (fluorocarbon) channel after being struck by a pendulum head, and the resulting distance is compared to the distance measured by an SI-traceable length measurement. The instantaneous velocity of the block is measured by the velocimeter and is used to calculate the displacement of the block by integrating the velocity data. The result is compared to the displacement measured using calibrated rulers and calipers. The method was applied to an independently calibrated commercial velocimeter for impact accelerations ranging from 2000 to 30,000 m/s2. The results of the independent mechanical-displacement measurements agreed with those from the commercial velocimeter to within ±0.3 %, with better agreement above accelerations of order 10,000 m/s2 to within ±0.1 %. A conservative, upper-bound, uncertainty analysis included the effects of noise and other random errors, as well as type B estimates for systematic errors from occasional momentary demodulation failures (dropouts), use of a different number of rulers before and after shock distance measurement, and the relative frequency response of the velocimeter.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


accelerometer calibration, laser Doppler velocimeter, measurement uncertainty, pendulum, primary calibration, shock excitation
Created April 10, 2020, Updated April 13, 2020