Digital Fireworks Firing System: How Does it Work?

May 17, 2017

Haven't we all felt a deep itch of wonder when a fireworks display goes off without a hitch? Sure, you're probably preoccupied with the exploding colours and bright lights, but then, when you take a moment to appreciate the coordinated pyrotechnics, you begin to see the show as a choreographed dance of explosions, with one fountaining firework eruption segueing into the next. But just what is it that makes those amazing sequences possible?

Deconstructing Digital Fireworks Firing Systems

Computers run many of the pyrotechnics events envisaged here. The proprietary software suites generate timed ignition scripts for the fireworks. Like any other software solution, libraries of effects are available for the discerning show engineer. These are instantly accessible, or the tech can assemble new effects. Of course, an interface of some kind is required to convey the launch signal to the explosive loads. That's a role that's assigned to digital fireworks firing systems.

Explaining Digital Fireworks Firing Systems

Professionally coordinated pyrotechnical shows don't use traditional lightable fuses and multiple operators. That would be a ludicrous waste of resources and a quite unmanageable solution. In lieu of this untenable approach, the firing mechanisms are armed with special electric matches(e-matches). Imagine the insides of each electric igniter, each one that's wired to one of a hundred different fireworks. There's a tiny current-carrying coil inside every one of them. All that's needed to ignite the fuse now is a small electrical charge, a digitally dispatched signal that will trigger the fireworks' fuse.

Introducing Modular Firing Panels

Computerised firing programs, timed fuses, and e-match technology all live together inside a remote control pyrotechnics panel. The device is equipped with programmable guts, all the effects an event virtuoso could ever need. This portable box of electronics, a briefcase-sized unit that looks a little like a mobile version of a space flight's mission control centre, is where the firing system lives. From here, the choreographer ignites the effects. He's spent more than a day connecting the fuses, angling the charges, and planning the show. That planning probably includes a musical score and a theme, but none of that coordinated showmanship would be possible without the timing power of that digital fireworks firing system.

Sequential firing routines are programmed into this event coordinating module. The rugged box is layered with buttons and controllers, digital monitors and supplementary modules. Wireless technology is the newest addition to this technological fireworks management device. Then, when partnered with a pyrotechnics maestro, that wireless firing system works in concert with the musical score to sequentially trigger the electric igniters and deliver a truly memorable event.

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