Sensitivity Testing and Analysis Course

Dr. Neyer is currently the Vice President of Technology, Defense & Aerospace at Excelitas Technologies. He was previously the CTO, Advanced Electronic Systems, for Excelitas Technologies, and CTO Defense for PerkinElmer. He is internationally known for his work in the field of statistical testing of energetic components, particularly for his approach to detonator threshold testing and analysis (the Neyer D-Optimal Test). This test and analysis method provides more accurate and precise estimates of all-fire levels for reliability and no-fire levels for safety. The Neyer Test has been adopted for use throughout the industry. This method is now specified in both DOD and ISO test standards. In addition to his pioneering work with statistical testing, Dr. Neyer has made major contributions in the area of detonation systems and their diagnostics. He has helped to make the VISAR a routine tool to measure the velocity of detonators, developed the streak camera curvature techniques to measure the curvature and integrity of Exploding Foil Initiators, and has utilized high speed photography and electrical measurements to characterize detonator performance. In addition to developing diagnostics during his years at EG&G Mound and PerkinElmer Optoelectronics, Dr. Neyer has also developed energetic components utilizing traditional Exploding Foil Initiators, chip slappers, and laser detonators. He has also helped both DOD and commercial concerns to investigate and engineer solutions to failures in energetic component systems.

Dr. Neyer is the Editor, Co-editor, or Co-author of four books in the fields of high-speed diagnostics and explosive devices. He has authored or co-authored over 100 papers in the fields of explosive components, high-speed diagnostics, statistics, and nuclear physics. He has 5 patents with more pending in the field of energetic components. He has served as leader and on the governing board of several international organizations. Dr. Neyer is the past chair of the Energetic Components and Systems Group of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is also an Associate Fellow of AIAA. He is also a past chair of the High Speed Working Group of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering and of the Fuze Section Steering Committee of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA).

Dr. Neyer has over one quarter century of teaching experience. He has been an acting instructor in Physics at both Xavier University in Ohio and Stanford University in California. He has taught this sensitivity test and analysis course at a number of government and commercial laboratories throughout the country, consistently receiving high ratings by his students.

The Sensitivity Testing and Analysis Course is an explanation of the test and analysis methods used in conducting sensitivity tests (such as the Neyer D-Optimal test, Langlie test, and Bruceton test). The class covers:

  • What can be learned from a sensitivity test.
  • How to perform a test.
  • How to analyze and interpret the results.

Sensitivity tests are often used to estimate the parameters associated with latent continuous variables which cannot be measured. For example, each explosive specimen has a threshold. The specimen will detonate if and only if an applied shock exceeds this value. Since there is no way to determine the threshold of an individual, specimens are tested at various levels to determine parameters of the population. A new test described here produces efficient estimates of the parameters of the distribution, even with limited prior knowledge. This test efficiently characterizes the entire distribution and desired percentiles of any population.
Sensitivity test methods are used to study a wide range of phenomena, including:

  • Determining the initiation sensitivity of energetic devices for automotive, mining, demolition, and military devices
  • Determining the lethal toxic dose to animals of various chemicals (LD50 testing)
  • Determining the strength of materials
  • Determining the required dosage of pharmaceuticals
  • Determining the intensity level required to detect a stimulus

The course covers both the basic theory and practical aspects of testing and analysis. Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to use software to conduct and analyze a wide variety of sensitivity tests, and should be able to understand and explain the results of the analysis.

This is a comprehensive course; for all technicians, professionals, and managers in development, production, quality, or test organizations who design, build, or test components that are destructively tested.

The class is given either on-site at your company, or in conjunction with conferences.

Sensitivity Course Outline:

  1. What is a sensitivity test?
  2. Review of Statistics for Normal Distribution
    • Resistor example
    • Normal (Gaussian) probability curve
    • Mean. Standard deviation of population
    • Other parameters of the population
    • Likelihood functions
    • Maximum Likelihood Estimates
    • Variances and covariance of estimates
    • Confidence Intervals
    • Cramer-Rao Theorem, Asymptotic Confidence Intervals
  3. Sensitivity test statistics
    • What is measured?
    • Statistics the same, measurements and computations different
    • Use of Likelihood function
    • Confidence Levels
    • Cramer-Rao Theorem, Asymptotic Confidence Intervals
    • Efficient test design
  4. Efficient sensitivity testing
    • Egg drop test motivation
    • Explanation of new test
    • Can you do any better?
    • How to determine the sample size
    • Hands-on running of the software
  5. How to use the software for testing
    • Mechanics of SenTest™
    • How to determine limits of Mu and Sigma
    • How to determine appropriate test hardware
    • Running SenTest™ with simulated components
  6. How to use the software for analysis
    • History Plot (Xs and 0s)
    • Contour Plot
    • Numerical Analysis
    • Probability Plot
    • Multi Contour Plot
    • Different Populations
  7. Special Topics
    • What to do if no overlap
    • How reliable are no-fire and all-fire levels?
    • Adaptability of the Optimal techniques
  8. Test (Optional)
    • Comprehensive test of sensitivity test and analysis statistics