CADs in Apollo Spacecraft and Saturn V

I came across a this document (think it was a presentation) dated 2009.
It gives a good exemplary insight into all CADs and explosive components used in a spacecraft (of those days - today I assume it to be way more). A subject we usually have no insight to and only people dealing with the subject in general have a vague idea of all the items in question.
So I thought it might be usefull to have the doc available here as it really widens the horizon of those interested.

Apollo Spacecraft and Saturn V Launch Vehicle Pyrotechnics-Explosive Devices_2009.pdf (3.4 MB)

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Alex, thanks for the link. Very interesting stuff.

In 1990-91 I did some work on a Laser Ordnance Initiation System (LOIS) to avoid accidental detonations from ESD (electrostatic discharge) with electrically-fired initiators. I would imagine as EOD you are very familiar with the dangers of ESD.

Below is a patent for the device I worked on (invented by two physicists I worked with):

I think instead of “LOIS”, they should have called it “Medusa” because of the multiple fiber optic cables coming out of the unit like snakes.

The company closed after the initial design was completed, so I don’t know if this was ever developed into usable hardware.

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Larry, very interesting! This shows how small the world in fact is! And great to know you were involved into all this!

As you say ESD is always an issue and I know of some sad cases related to this.
I can imagine the grade of EMR in a spacecraft and as you know well it is a big issue already in normal aircraft, let alone military ones. Speaking of this ECM aircraft like the EA-6 Prowler (variant of the A-6 Intruder - one of my favourites) and the successor the EA-18 Growler (variant of the F/A-18 Hornet) must be a nightmare as for this.

As for where and how such systems are used exactly I can not say much other than that we discussed here the laser ignition of medium caliber cartridges (I think I had started a thread on this longer ago).
And from a friend in the ATF I know of laser ignition systems for detonators. He did not tell too much but it was for spec ops use.
So what ever you have invented back then I am sure it is alife somewhere and with modern technology (= EMR and related ESD) it will be used even more.

Thanks! Very informative and truly fascinating.

Alex, thank you. I think I found the thread you referred to with laser ignition of medium caliber rounds:


There were two interesting reports you linked in that thead, so thanks for the lead on that.

When I worked on LOIS we purchased a diode laser prototype that cost $50,000. Now they cost only pennies!

Part of my job at that time was engineering support for laser ignition of thermonuclear fuel pellets, also known as Inertial Confinement Fusion. This used a very large laser (housed in a room of about 3000 square feet/300 square meters) with 2 main beams that were 20 cm in diameter and up to 1,000,000,000,000 watts each (terawatts or trillions of watts). They were focused onto a small fuel pellet (120 micron diameter hollow glass sphere) filled with DT/Deuterium-Tritium fuel. The idea was to generate power with a cleaner and more abundant source of nuclear energy.

It was a fascinating job, but sadly they lost their main contract with the US Department of Energy due to politics. Today government labs in various parts of the world are still trying to make this work (with much larger lasers or particle beam accelerators), but I think the real reason the research continues is for nuclear weapons simulations.

I hope you’ll pardon my rambling, but this has brought back some good memories!

Larry, holly miracle! Sounds like you were into the middle of high-tech / sci-fi stuff!

Trying to imagine what happend to a fly entering into that laser beam, or an aircraft at 10 miles distance…

In my view no rambling at all since it is all connected in one way or another. And as so often the best thing is to widen the horizon with all the spin offs we are having in this forum.