This project supports a collaborative project by Drs. Arun Shukla of the Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Rhode Island (URI), and B.D. Agarwal, of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K). The project aims at the study of damage initiation and growth, under dynamic loading conditions, in transparent birefringent composites made of glass fibers and polyester resin. An optical recording system of the Cranz Schardin type is to be designed and constructed at IIT-K. It will be capable of recording 20 pictures at rates from 20,000 to 900,000 frames per second. Specimens are to be photographed during the fracture process at very short time intervals. Initial fringe patterns are expected to give information on the the damage initiation conditions while subsequent fringe patterns will give information about the dynamic damage growth and damage arrest conditions. Scope: The topic of this research on fracture of composites under dynamic loads is timely since it is not currently well understood. The Indian and U.S. collaborators have expertise in dealing with the subject research. Their experiences complement each other well. This project represents a case of a potentially very useful international collaboration.