Through the recent award by the Department of Defense, we seek to uncover the deformation mechanisms of impact mitigating polymers by developing a novel experimental mechanics setup. Generally, in the area of materials characterization, postmortem inspections of the fracture surfaces are used to unveil the behavior of materials prior to failure. This, in turn, limits our understanding of the dynamic response of polymers due to ultrahigh strain loadings. The undertaken research will leverage the ability of terahertz waves to propagate into polymeric materials to establish an in-situ characterization technique that observes the conformational changes during any static or dynamic loading scenarios. Students from diverse backgrounds will be trained on advanced topics of experimental mechanics, mechanics of impact mitigating polymers, and the design of advanced armors.