Abstract

Accurate recording and characterization of explosion‐induced pressure signals are key components of the forensic analysis of explosion events in the atmosphere. Parametric overpressure models based on several key waveform features (peak overpressure, positive pulse duration, and impulse) are widely used to estimate explosion energy in terms of trinitrotoluene equivalent yield. However, those models are often developed by a limited dataset, including only a few events or recordings at relatively short propagation distances. Here, we develop empirical waveform‐parameter models based on a regression analysis of a large set of data curated from four chemical explosion experiments including 16 detonations. We measured peak overpressure and impulse for positive and negative phases from 1000 pressure signals recorded at local ranges (<20  km) with scaled distance up to 8000  m/kg1/3. The measured waveform parameters showed large variation with respect to observing distances indicating the effects of atmospheric propagation. In this study, a second‐order polynomial model was used in a least‐squares regression to account for those propagation effects and to improve data fitting. In addition to model parameters for waveform features, we also determined range‐dependent model uncertainties based on data variance. The model uncertainty represents the prediction error of our models and can be critical to evaluating the uncertainty of yield estimate.

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