Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Larry Burggraf, PhD.


Bacillus anthracis (B.a.) is the causative agent of anthrax. B.a. spores pose a threat because have been used as a bioweapon throughout history and can survive harsh conditions for prolonged periods of time. Rapid resistive heating was used for the thermal inactivation of spores in order to determine B.a. spore viability, to include partial and complete thermal inactivation. This microbiological study sought to obtain a correlation between exposure time, temperature, and spore viability. This information is invaluable when modeling employment effects for agent defeat weapons to destroy B.a. stockpiles through thermal inactivation. Partial and complete thermal inactivation of the spores were found using rapid resistive heating at short duration exposure times from 0.258 to 7 seconds and temperatures ranging from 73.5 to 888C. Power supply pulses were created by applying varying voltages ranging from 9 to 200 Volts for 12 separate power supply input times ranging from 0.1 to 10 seconds. Higher temperatures were needed to thermally inactivate the B.a. spores as exposure times decreased.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number