Non-ideal explosives are currently poorly characterized, hence limiting the modeling of them. Current characterization requires large-scale testing to obtain steady detonation wave characterization for analysis due to the relatively thick reaction zones. Use of a microwave interferometer applied to small-scale confined transient experiments is being implemented to allow for time resolved characterization of a failing detonation. The microwave interferometer measures the position of a failing detonation wave in a tube that is initiated with a booster charge. Experiments have been performed with ammonium nitrate and various fuel compositions (diesel fuel and mineral oil). It was observed that the failure dynamics are influenced by factors such as chemical composition and confiner thickness. Future work is planned to calibrate models to these small-scale experiments and eventually validate the models with available large scale experiments. This experiment is shown to be repeatable, shows dependence on reactive properties, and can be performed with little required material.

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