Debris Impact Testing

Debris impact Testing canon

Debris Impact Testing Lab

The heart of the Debris Impact Facility is a pneumatic cannon capable of producing simulated wind speeds over 250 mph. The cannon can launch different types of simulated wind-born debris in a controlled environment to provide valuable impact resistance data.

The cannon plays an important role in researching effective tornado shelters for use in homes and other structures. The cannon is used to develop standards for safe above ground shelters, and continues to be in demand for testing new shelter materials and constructions.

The NWI has also been selected for Popular Science’s “Most Awesome College Labs 2013" and as one of "PopSci's Most Awesome College Labs 2011"

Watch a video demonstrating the debris impact cannon in action.

This one is an impressive slo-mo video of the actual impact of a sample debris cannon missile. (Credit: Sierra Conner, TTU student.)

For Information on Debris Impact Testing:

For information on testing and the testing schedule, please contact Tammy Pitzer at (806) 834-8604 or email: or NWI Research Assistant Professor Larry Tanner at (806) 834-2320 or email:

General Shelter Information