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Ballistics Division 

28th International Symposium on Ballistics

The full symposium agenda is now available to download/print/view

Join us for the 28th International Symposium on Ballistics (ISB), jointly organized and supported by the International Ballistics Society ( in conjunction with NDIA, September 22-26, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA!

The ISB is an opportunity for ballistics scientists, engineers, and others to report, share, and discuss current research and advances in ballistics and visions of the future. This symposium is THE venue for international exchange on scientific aspects of the field of ballistics and impact physics offering exposure to the most current state-of-the-art technology in ballistics.

  • Interact with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of ballistics technology and meet other professionals with similar interests and experiences.
  • Opportunities to meet and discuss technology with other professionals in your field of expertise. Cultivate communication, business interests and cooperative development.
  • Opportunities to present, exhibit, and share your scientific research and development with an international group of professionals. Receive individual feedback and interaction on your work.

Registration is open at  

  • If you are a member of the International Ballistics Society, you will first be asked to log in, then directed to the registration process.
  • If you are an IBS non-member, referred to as a Guest, you will be asked to join the Society. You cannot register for the 28th ISB without becoming a member of the Society.
  • Membership Renewal: Unless you are a Lifetime Member, your dues for renewal should appear automatically. Please contact the Membership Secretary at if you wish to convert to a Lifetime Member.

Through 5pm EST 11 July 2014, the following rates apply:

  • Symposium Academic Program: $1035 USD
    Tuesday - Friday Technical Program Agenda, all scheduled meals, CD of proceedings
  • Symposium Social Program: Add $385 USD
    Monday Reception in the Exhibit Hall, Wednesday Group Outing to Turner Field for dinner and a Major League Baseball game: Atlanta Braves vs Pittsburgh Pirates, Thursday Symposium Banquet

You may log-in to the Ballistics Society registration portal multiple times in order to modify or add packages to your registration (for example, if you would like to pay for the Academic Program with your company credit card, but add the Social Program with your personal credit card, you may do so).

Two lectures will be presented on Monday, September 22.

  • AM Session: Warhead Mechanisms
    This course is intended for those starting out in the study of warheads and their terminal effects.  It is also a useful course for those already working in another field of ballistics who wish to have a basic understanding of warheads.
  • PM Session: Overview on Armour
    This course is designed for those beginning research into armour. It includes basic armour mechanisms, the choice of materials and their engineering. It is also useful for those studying another area of ballistics who need a basic understanding of armour.

Until 5pm EST 11 July 2014, the following pricing is available for tutorials:

  • AM Session Only: $225 USD
  • PM Session Only: $225 USD
  • Both AM & PM Sessions: $375 USD

The full Companion Program Brochure is available for download/print/view.

Symposium attendees' companions or spouses are invited to participate in our Companion Program for the following additional fees:

  • All Scheduled Events: $500 USD
    This price includes access to:
  1. Monday Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall
  2. Tuesday "Atlanta History Tour": Learn about the role of Atlanta in the Civil War, its architecture and modern development. Lunch at the Swan Coach House is included.
  3. Wednesday Group Outing to Turner Field for dinner and a Major League Baseball game: Atlanta Braves vs Pittsburgh Pirates
  4. Thursday "Atlanta Heroes Tour": Visit Margaret Mitchell House (author of Gone With the Wind), the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change. Lunch at Mary Mac's is included.
  5. Thursday Evening Symposium Banquet
  • Symposium Events Only: $385 USD
    This price includes access to events with attendees only:
  1. Monday Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall
  2. Wednesday Group Outing to Turner Field for dinner and a Major League Baseball game: Atlanta Braves vs Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Thursday Evening Symposium Banquet

Sign up for a 10'x10' booth in the hall where all poster sessions, morning and afternoon breaks and the opening reception will be held! A 10'x10' booth can be purchased for $3,000 USD and includes 2 Symposium registrations. (Add $50 for Society membership if not already a member).

For more information and to view the floor plan, please visit

Please note: Third party companies have not been contracted by NDIA to assist you in booking your reservation. The only way to make your reservation is by making your reservation yourself online, by phone, or email.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30303

In order to ensure the discounted NDIA rate, please make reservations early and ask for the NDIA room block. Please call the hotel directly at 888-421-1442 or (404) 577-1234 to make your reservation. For international assistance with reserving your room, please email Rooms will not be held after August 30, 2014 and may sell out before then. Rates are also subject to increase after this date.

The rate for U.S. government attendees is the prevailing per diem rate at the time of the symposium. The per diem rate is only available to active duty or civilian US government employees. ID will be required upon check-in. Retired military or government civilians do not qualify for the government rate.


Papers & Copyright Transfers are due 27 June.

To proceed to the paper & copyright transfer form submission, click on the following link:

PowerPoints are due 1 September.
To proceed to the presentation submission link on the following link:

COPYRIGHT TRANSFER: The Society requires you to transfer the copyright of your paper to the Society, in order that it can be published in the Proceedings and placed in our data base and on-line store for future access. The form can be downloaded from here:

Please complete and sign the form and scan it as a PDF. You will be requested to upload your completed form when you upload your paper. If you have any questions please contact the President at

PAPER: The format for papers in the Proceedings can be found at this link:

Please visit for information as it becomes available.

Division Mission

To promote the exchange, among the Defense Department, other government agencies, national laboratories, industry, and academia, of technical information relating to the various fields of ballistics, including concepts and theories. Emphasis is both on research results and the application of these theories and concepts to the design, development, and evaluation of weapon systems and their performance against materiel such as armor and other potential targets.

The Ballistics Division's executive board, whose membership includes world-class U.S. ballisticians, organizes and conducts the widely attended, U.S. based, unclassified, international ballistics symposia, at three year intervals. They are assisted in this effort by world-class ballisticians from over 24 countries, who also report on their own current unclassified work in ballistics and, in many cases, assist in the paper selection process. The Ballistics Division also contributes technical support, in the paper selection process, to the off-shore international ballistics symposia, which are also held at alternating three year intervals, between U.S. based symposia. The offshore symposia are conducted under the auspices of the International Ballistics Committee, which includes many members of the Ballistics Division's executive board. Finally, since May 1998, the Ballistics Division has undertaken to organize and conduct (jointly with the NDIA's Bomb and Warhead Division) the Annual Joint Classified Ballistics Symposium (SECRET-U.S. ONLY).

Propulsion Dynamics -- This original field of Ballistics emphasizes new or improved methods for understanding propulsion using electromagnetic, chemical, and other forms of energy sources. Current areas of interest include railgun dynamics; electrothermal plasma processes; new chemical propellants; new energy sources; control of ignition and chemical combustion processes; gas/plasma flow in guns, rockets, and nozzles; and thermomechanical effects upon projectiles and chambers of guns and rockets. The purposes for emphasizing efforts in these areas include:

  • increasing the velocity (kinetic energy) of current and future weapons,
  • increasing the thermodynamic efficiency of propulsion systems through better control of combustion dynamics, energy storage, or energy conversion,
  • eliminating deviations from predicted or normal behavior in propulsion processes -- deviations that might lead to catastrophic failure, such as pressure wave induced breech blow,
  • reducing causes of gun tube wear that shorten tube life and reduce reliability, such as gas erosion and plasma erosion, reducing the vulnerability of propellants to ballistic attack.

Launch Dynamics -- The effectiveness of modern weapons is driven by greatly increasing requirements for accuracy. Erratic launch conditions increase the probable error in miss distance of a round and may cause premature tumbling and disastrously short trajectories for projectiles that are initially only marginally stable. In high performance weapons, projectile deformations can also lead to inaccuracy or even disastrous conditions at launch. Some of the degrading effects introduced during the transitional phase can be attributed to muzzle whip, tip-off, in-bore balloting caused by worn gun tubes, muzzle jet flow, interaction with projectile/rocket and launcher, and sabot separation. The first three of these effects occur while the projectile is still in contact with the launcher; the motion and orientation given to the projectile during this contact may be amplified when the projectile is in transient flow just outside the muzzle. The efforts in this important field include:

  • study of projectile in-bore dynamics, including efforts related to rotating band engraving and obturator functioning, the structural performance of projectiles subjected to the launch loads and pressures generated by propelling charges, optimal design of projectiles to withstand such loads, and unloading effects on projectile integrity during emergence from the gun tube,
  • examination of gun tube dynamics, to include the lateral response of gun tubes to the interior ballistic event, the transient structural performance of gun tubes, and advanced gun design,
  • correlation of interior ballistics performance with muzzle blast effects, such as needed to reduce the noise level to which a gunner is exposed during firing especially for shoulder-fired weapons,
  • description of the exterior environment around weapons, to include the phenomena of reverse blow-by upon exit of the tube, entrainment effects, and time varying flow properties in launch,
  • description of the initial aerodynamics of the projectile prior to entry into free flight.

Flight Dynamics -- Effective weapon systems depend on meeting flight performance standards in an economical and realistic fashion. A designer must resolve many conflicting technical requirements and usually must choose or compromise among competing factors. For example, the factors of range and payload compete directly and simply with each other when one speaks of improved weapons; some rational value must be ascribed to each as one attempts to optimize overall performance. The salient task in projectile/rocket flight is to provide the logic needed to make the necessary compromises for the optimum aerodynamic performance of weapons while at the same time meeting interfacing problems involved in launching a projectile and ensuring its satisfactory arrival for maximum terminal effectiveness. Thus, emphasis is on research in aerodynamics and classical dynamics both as an approach that will tell one how to ensure minimum energy loss to a projectile/rocket -- thereby deriving maximum range, and as means to increase stability factors controlling possible flight aberrations such as those due to loose or moving cargo and liquid-filled projectile sections -- thereby improving accuracy and reliability.

Warhead Mechanisms & Effects -- The propulsion of lethal elements through explosive/metal interactions is advancing the warhead mechanics technology base rapidly through insight gained by means of parallel experimentation and computer analysis. Parallel efforts in experiments, analytic formulations, and computer code developments are enhancing the prediction of the performance of shaped charge warheads, explosively formed penetrators, fragmenting devices, mines, incendiary ammunition, and fuel-air explosives. Warhead effects consider the consequences of impact and penetration by blast waves, fragments, shaped charges, and kinetic-energy rounds insofar as behind-armor defeat is concerned. These consequences include target response (including deformation and translation), spallation, behind-armor blast, behind-armor debris, the ignition of fuel, propellants, and explosives, and the exploitation of energetic (pyrophoric) materials to enhance lethal effects.

Terminal Ballistics (Protection) -- The technical base for protection of combat vehicles, aircraft, and personnel requires a deep understanding of the response of materials and structures to the intense deposition of kinetic energy by bullets, kinetic energy penetrators, hypervelocity penetrators, shaped charges, and fragmenting warheads. This information is gained through advanced instrumentation techniques, such as high speed cameras and flash radiography, as well as through improved understanding of the response of materials to stress and strain. Great progress is being made through improved analytical techniques and computer analysis based on highly instrumented experiments. A broad data base is being accumulated and organized by means of computer accessed data and models that can interpolate between the data so as to forecast future experiments as well as protection packages for vehicle systems, aircraft, and personnel.

Target/Environment Signature Analysis -- Targets must be found before they can be attacked. A major thrust in this effort is the development of computerized models predicting the signatures of both targets and their backgrounds in the infrared and visual regions of the spectrum (0.4 to 14 micrometers) as well as in the millimeter wave region. Component mathematical submodels are needed for description of targets, terrain, vegetation, natural and artificial sources of irradiation, smokes, atmospheric transmission (absorption and scattering), atmospheric turbulence, camouflage materials, terminal homing systems, target acquisition systems, and surveillance systems.

Weapon Concept Analysis -- This element of ballistics technology focuses on constructing new technical approaches (or combination of techniques) for solutions of problems related to advanced weapon systems. It is essentially a systems engineering approach leading to close integration of all activities within the Ballistics Division and ultimately to extensive in-depth competence in all aspects of weapon technology. A very important facet of concepts analysis is the search for optimum solutions through continuing theoretical research, judicious experimentation, mathematical modeling of physical processes and performance simulation, concept synthesis, and conceptual design. The competence for the derivation of optimum solutions for weapon systems demands that there also be a constant awareness of and an examination of many technological areas peripheral to the elements of Ballistic Technology. The yield from such competence will include more rapid engineering evaluations in response to queries, recognition of systems implication of the results of research programs and a stimuli for new research & development activities.


Richard G. Ames, Ph. D.
Raytheon Missile Systems
Work: 520-746-2062

Vice Chairman:
Bill Flis
DE Technologies, Inc.

Brian Scott
US Army Research Laboratory 

Britt Bommelje
Director, Operations
Phone: (703) 247-2587

For more information about the International Ballistics Society, visit:


Affiliate Associations

The Association for Enterprise Information    National Training and Simulation Association    Precision Strike Association    Women in Defense