Lightweight IED Blast and Momentum Bypass/Mitigation
Navy SBIR 2012.1 - Topic N121-081
ONR - Ms. Tracy Frost - firstname.lastname@example.org
Opens: December 12, 2011 - Closes: January 11, 2012
N121-081 TITLE: Lightweight IED Blast and Momentum Bypass/Mitigation
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Marine Corps Systems Command, PEO Land Systems
RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted". The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.
OBJECTIVE: Develop active technologies to mitigate combat and tactical vehicle underbody Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)/mine blast damage through unique shaping/wave propagation deflection and momentum mitigation techniques.
DESCRIPTION: IEDs and roadside bombs are currently one of the greatest threats to warfighters, who are most often targeted while driving in combat and tactical vehicles. These vehicles must be functional, in that they must be able to carry personnel and gear, while also not being encumbered with a great deal of additional heavy or bulky features. Today's vehicles are currently reaching saturation in terms of the vast array of new equipment and armor being mounted on them. Nonetheless, a solution is sought to mitigate the shock and acceleration/momentum forces experienced when high-pressure gas and associated momentum from soil ejecta media from an explosion forces a vehicle upward. These forces cause a large number of head, neck, lower leg, and spinal injuries, and are separate from the injuries suffered from shrapnel and debris penetrating the undercarriage and sides of the vehicle. A lightweight approach is sought to relieve or vent the high-pressure gas, preferably by redirecting it past the vehicle and mitigate the acceleration/momentum imparted to the vehicle. It should also be possible to apply the approach several times before needing to re-arm/replace it. With respect to retro-fitting and upkeep, the approach should be conscious of cost, weight, materials, time, and maintaining the vehicle's functionality.
State-of-the-Art: There are a number of techniques currently being applied to counter IEDs, including: armor to protect against penetration; angled undercarriages to deflect shock waves; and vent concepts to help dissipate high-pressure gases. The focus of this topic is to identify an alternative or complementary technology to vent the gases past the vehicle to eliminate or mitigate the volume penalty in the engine/passenger/cargo portions of the vehicle and mitigate acceleration/momentum transfer to the vehicle and its occupants.
PHASE I: Perform the basic research to demonstrate the technologies to mitigate shock and acceleration/momentum forces and conduct modeling and simulation to demonstrate a concept approach to the reduction in shock and acceleration/momentum forces exerted on a simulated underbody.
PHASE II: Investigate and determine realistic size, weight, power, volume, and cost for the concept technologies of Phase I. Conduct a preliminary and detailed design of the concept demonstrated in Phase I and fabricate a generic sub-scale underbody to demonstrate reduction in shock and acceleration/momentum forces. Characterize event duration, system performance and any electromagnetic signatures generated by the concept system geometries to assess any undesirable frequencies that may interfere with on-board electronic systems.
Though Phase II work may become Classified, the Proposal for Phase II work will be UNCLASSIFIED.
PHASE III: Further develop and demonstrate the concept through tests on surrogate systems, progressing to full-size mock-ups, and ultimately culminating in full test and evaluation efforts on actual systems, including the integration of the system, along with any required electromagnetic-shielding and insulation technologies, that have already been developed for various platforms. Develop a plan to provide any necessary shielding/insulation approaches to prevent direct coupling/arcing to sensitive systems.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: There exists potential use in the civilian sector by police special forces for the purpose of approaching and breaching fortified bunkers that potentially contain explosives.
3. Avasarala, Srikanti Rupa, Blast Overpressure Relief Using Air Vacated Buffer Medium, MS Thesis, MIT, June 2009.
KEYWORDS: underbody blast; vehicle underbody acceleration mitigation; IED; Improvised Explosive Device; mine blast