ABSTRACT

Chemical explosions generate pressure disturbances in air that radiate as nonlinear shock waves near the source and transition into acoustic waves with distance. Because low‐frequency acoustic waves generally travel large distances without significant loss of energy, they are often used for explosion monitoring and yield estimation. However, quantitative relationships between acoustic energy and explosion yields are required for accurate yield estimation. Here, we develop an empirical acoustic source model for chemical explosions from experimental data. The empirical model returns the acoustic pressure waveform for the detonation of 1 kg of trinitrotoluene, which is conventionally used to represent the explosive release of 4.184 MJ of explosion energy. The full‐waveform model can be used to predict acoustic signals for an arbitrary yield of a high‐explosive detonation based on the standard scaling law and to estimate acoustic energies in a specific frequency range. We evaluate the accuracy of the acoustic source model independently by estimating the yield of other explosive events that are not included in the model development. Statistical characteristics of the model and their implications for the uncertainty quantification of estimated yields are discussed.

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