airburst

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airburst

[′er‚bərst]
(ordnance)
Any burst in the air, but usually the bursting of a projectile or bomb above the ground with resulting spray of fragments. Also known as aerial burst.

airburst

An explosion of a bomb or a projectile above the surface as distinguished from an explosion on impact with the surface or after penetration. Special fuses are used for this purpose.
References in periodicals archive ?
Anyway, whatever discussion we had on the subject ended with another airburst and Lidka jerking backwards with a little scream: hit in the face.
This makes soldiers extremely vulnerable to snipers and to airbursts from 82mm mortar fires.
But artillery scored in being able to use time fuzes for airbursts, giving better downward fragmentation against troops behind cover.
More data on airbursts build up our understanding based on empirical observations.
Melott studied two possible cometary airbursts with Brian Thomas, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Washburn University, Gisela Dreschhoff, KU adjunct associate professor of physics and astronomy, and Carey Johnson, KU professor of chemistry.
The melt material also matches melt-glass produced by the Trinity nuclear airburst of 1945 in Socorro, New Mexico.
For cosmic debris to be spread over such a wide area, the researchers propose that an airburst is the most likely explanation.