Development, Test & Evaluation

Stresau Laboratory, Inc., is known as the fuze explosive train specialist. The reputation comes from nearly fifty years of explosive train safety and reliability evaluation. Richard Stresau's research on explosive propagation phenomena allowed the US to develop and field ordnance faster than the competition. And the competition in 1944 was deadly. In 1961 he opened his own laboratory in the north woods of Wisconsin. The US ordnance industry has beat a path to it ever since.

Developed by the Navy in 1950’s and refined by Stresau in the 1960's, these evaluation protocols soon became international standards and continue to be so today. Testimony to this is found in the Army inventory where nearly every fuze explosive train has passed through Stresau test and evaluation. Stresau’s statistical models and carefully controlled penalty function testing can validate designs in the most cost-effective manner.

The methods are based on assigning a penalty to the interface being evaluated. Penalties frequently used are barrier thickness, gap, strength of donor output (Varidrive) and sensitivity of the explosive donor (Varicomp). A quantitative system using common statistical methods is used to compare the interface under penalty with the design interface. This offers predictions of high rates of reliability or safety on the basis of a few test trials.

Stresau helps evaluate the safety and reliability of many U.S. Army fuzes/S&As. A large quantity of Air Force and Navy fuzing/safing devices are also evaluated at Stresau. The following are details for a few sample activities.