An emission spectrometer (450-850 nm) using a high-throughput, high numerical aperture (N.A. = 0.3) prism spectrograph with stepped fiberoptic coupling, 32 fast photomultipliers and thirty-two 1.25 GHz digitizers is described. The spectrometer can capture single-shot events with a high dynamic range in amplitude and time (nanoseconds to milliseconds or longer). Methods to calibrate the spectrometer and verify its performance and accuracy are described. When a reference thermal source is used for calibration, the spectrometer can function as a fast optical pyrometer. Applications of the spectrometer are illustrated by using it to capture single-shot emission transients from energetic materials or reactive materials initiated by km's-1 impacts with laser-driven flyer plates. A log (time) data analysis method is used to visualize multiple kinetic processes resulting from impact initiation of HMX (octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine) or a Zr/CuO nanolaminate thermite. Using a gray body algorithm to interpret the spectral radiance from shocked HMX, a time history of temperature and emissivity was obtained, which could be used to investigate HMX hot spot dynamics. Finally, two examples are presented showing how the spectrometer can avoid temperature determination errors in systems where thermal emission is accompanied by atomic or molecular emission lines.
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