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Dawn Pickavance

Senior Warheads Engineer

Dawn is a Senior Warheads Engineer with 4 years’ experience at MBDA, currently working within the modelling capability in the Complex Warheads Centre of Excellence. In 2015 she graduated from The University of Manchester with a first-class Master’s degree in Physics. Since joining MBDA (UK) she had worked on a myriad of programs and research projects across a range of warhead designs, with a focus on hydrocode analysis for hard target perforation. She is experienced with a range of modelling tools including Lagrangian and Eulerian hydrocodes, and semi-empirical codes. She has specialised in warhead performance assessment and proving, and shock environment evaluation.

Dawn Pickavance
Hardened Data Recorder Developed For Analysis of Warhead Shock Environments

The HDR consists of accelerometers and a data recorder. The primary purpose of the HDR is to identify the shock levels in warhead trials that would be experienced by the Safety and Arming Unit (SAU) and thus inform the SAU design team of the environment in which it must survive and function. Trials have been conducted and analysed using the HDR against representative ship and bunker targets at subsonic and supersonic speeds. The HDR has been fitted into a variety of warheads with differing size, shape, and location constraints.

Analysis of the data recorded by the HDR has been used for a variety of purposes. It has been used to define the shock environment experienced by a variety of warhead systems. In addition it has been used to attain weapon system performance data in the absence of High Speed Video footage. It has also been used to assess the optimum location of the SAU to protect it from shock within supersonic penetrating warheads. It has been used to validate hydrocode modelling of a variety of warheads systems.

The recent development of the HDR provides an all new capability within MBDA for the measurement of high shock profiles within extreme environments; the recent trials have demonstrated its ability to survive shock levels in excess of 100000g. Prior to this, there was no requirement to record shock levels greater than 100000g; however, the large warheads and tougher targets required for future programmes exemplify the requirement for a survivable data capture mechanism: the HDR.