Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A warhead is an explosive device used in military conflicts, used to destroy enemy vehicles or buildings.
The types of warhead are:
- Explosive: An explosive charge is used to disintegrate the target, and damage surrounding areas with a shockwave.
- Chemical: A toxic chemical, such as nerve gas is dispersed, which is designed to injure or kill human beings.
- Biological: An infectious agent, such as anthrax is dispersed, which is designed to sicken and kill humans.
The types of explosive are:
- Chemical: Chemicals such as gunpowder store significant energy within their molecular bonds. This energy can be released quickly by a trigger, such as an electric spark. Thermobaric weapons are something of a special case.
- Nuclear: See Nuclear weapon.
Often, a biological or chemical warhead will use an explosive charge for rapid dispersal.
The types of detonators are:
- Contact: When the warhead makes physical contact with the target, the explosive is detonated.
- Proximity: Using radio waves, sound waves, a magnetic sensor, or Radar, the warhead is detonated when the target is within a specified distance. It is often coupled with directional explosion control system that ensures that the explosion sends the shrapnel primarily towards the target that triggered it.
- Timed: Warhead is detonated after a specific amount of time.
- Combined: Any combination of the above.
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