Debris Impact Facility
Fondly nicknamed "the potato gun on steroids", the Debris impact Cannon is the heart of the Debris Impact Facility. The platform is a pneumatic cannon capable of producing simulated wind speeds of more than 250 mph. The cannon can launch different types of simulated wind-born debris in a controlled environment to provide valuable impact resistance data.
The Debris Impact cannon is capable of shooting a 15-lb (6.8 kg) 2 by 4 wooden plant from rest to 150 mph in the lab environment.
The cannon was instrumental in devising above ground tornado shelters for use in homes and other structures. The cannon has been used to developing standards for safe above- and below-ground shelters and provides valuable impact resistance data.
The cannon is used for a variety of academic research projects as well as commercial testing of materials.