Abstract

Spectra of pyrotechnic flares composed of magnesium–sodium nitrate mixtures were studied to characterize the feature responsible for their high luminous efficacy. The major component of spectral radiant power appears as a continuum, with a deep minimum at the sodium resonance-line position and broad maxima as much as 100 Å on either side. This resonance-line continuum is shown to be a general property of magnesium–alkali nitrate flares. The separation of the maxima decreases with decreasing ambient pressure and with decreasing cross-sectional area of the flare.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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