New pneumatic launchers at the Impact on Aeronautical Structures Laboratory, located at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) Science Park, make it possible to carry out a wide range of studies on problems of impact that arise in the aeronautics industry and on optimum armor plating in other sectors. Researchers aim to understand how structures respond to different kinds of impacts. At present, these studies entail reproducing computer models of the structures and analyzing what happens with certain impacts by using computer simulations.
To validate the numerical models developed, it is necessary to produce impacts against real structural elements in the laboratory, under conditions similar to those when the elements are in use. Here is where the pneumatic launchers and high-speed cameras of the laboratory come into play, as they make it possible to examine every detail of the consequences that, for example, the collision of a slab of ice against a piece of carbon fiber from an airplane fuselage has.