Development of an Agent-Based Model for the Secondary Threat Resulting from a Ballistic Impact Event Matthew J. Bova, Frank W. Ciarallo, Raymond R. Hill


The process by which a high-velocity impact event leads to fire ignition onboard military vehicles is complex, influenced by the interaction of heated debris fragments and fuel spurting from ruptured tanks. An assessment of the risk of such a fire begins with a complete characterization of the secondary threat resulting from the impact, including debris fragment sizes, states of motion, and thermal properties. In the aircraft survivability community, there is a need for an analytical tool to model this complete threat. This paper approaches the problem by proposing an agent-based simulation model of the fragments in a debris cloud. An analytical/empirical impact fragmentation model is developed for incorporation into the simulation model, which determines fragment sizes and states of motion. Future work focuses on an agent-based approach to modeling the thermal profile of the threat, treating each fragment in the cloud as an individually (though not autonomously) cooling “lump” of uniform temperature. Development and study of this proof-of-concept effort leads to a deeper understanding of such secondary threats and demonstrates the value of agent-based simulation models as analytical tools.

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