AIR TEMPERATURES IN THE VICINITY OF A NUCLEAR DETONATION,
NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LAB SAN FRANCISCO CA
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A study was made of the air temperatures during detonations of Operation TUMBLER. The basic requirements, specified that air temperatures should be recorded at the same elevations and distances at which blast measurements were to be made, by instruments capable of operating up to 1000 C with a time constant of about 50 msec. The instrument designed consisted of a fine-wire aspirating-type thermocouple in which the air to be measured was drawn past the thermocouple at a high velocity. The instrument was designed so that its influence on the air being measured was at a minimum. The number of instruments used, and their spacing at each station, were determined by the estimated sizes of the local eddy cells and the number of recorder channels available. The results indicate that the rapidly fluctuating temperatures produced by the detonation vary markedly from point to point at the same distance from point zero. Severe pre-shock temperatures occurred above grade level only where the incident thermal radiation was sufficient to produce popcorning, i.e., exploding of sand by the absorption of thermal radiation.