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Shock and Vibration
Volume 6 (1999), Issue 2, Pages 59-72

Characterization and Simulation of Gunfire with Wavelets

David O. Smallwood

Sandia National Laboratories, STS Certification Environments Department, MS-0553, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

Received 2 November 1998; Revised 16 March 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gunfire is used as an example to show how the wavelet transform can be used to characterize and simulate nonstationary random events when an ensemble of events is available. The structural response to nearby firing of a high-firing rate gun has been characterized in several ways as a nonstationary random process. The current paper will explore a method to describe the nonstationary random process using a wavelet transform. The gunfire record is broken up into a sequence of transient waveforms each representing the response to the firing of a single round. A wavelet transform is performed on each of these records. The gunfire is simulated by generating realizations of records of a single-round firing by computing an inverse wavelet transform from Gaussian random coefficients with the same mean and standard deviation as those estimated from the previously analyzed gunfire record. The individual records are assembled into a realization of many rounds firing. A second-order correction of the probability density function is accomplished with a zero memory nonlinear function. The method is straightforward, easy to implement, and produces a simulated record much like the measured gunfire record.