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Advanced Artillery & Mortar personnel Blast Gauge System

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: Develop an advanced gauge that will measure blast overpressure at the mortar or artillery weapon and provide that data to the fire control computer or other computerized systems for analysis and use in decision making. 

DESCRIPTION: Assessing the soldier's blast exposure is important to prevent traumatic brain injuries and hearing loss, and assisting the trauma team in guiding triage with blast exposure data. Currently Blast Over Pressure (BOP) for artillery and mortars is tracked using the weapon’s digital fire control system (DFCS). If the DFCS malfunctions, the crew reverts to a manual BOP exposure tracking method. This conservative technique assumes the worst case exposure which limits the amount of rounds to be fired. The advanced blast gauge system would accurately measure the actual individual exposure to safely optimize the allowable number of rounds to be fired. This system would allow for accurate tracking of exposure in unusual scenarios not captured in training and/or the operational manual (e.g. unusual terrains and firing proximity). Ideally, the blast gauge would be integrated with the weapon’s digital fire control and automatically provide data to the crew chief and platoon/battery leadership to support informed decisions during live fire training and combat missions. 

PHASE I: Study various options for measuring BOP and include modeling and simulations and laboratory testing to validate that the proposed solutions would meet system requirements. At the conclusion of Phase I efforts, submit a report on the engineering analysis of the proposed options and results of modeling, simulations and/or testing. Propose the solution(s) that should be continued in Phase II with adequate justification. Phase I option will include delivery of the initial System Requirement Specification (SRS) which will annotate technical requirements and verification methods. The SRS shall be approved by the government. 

PHASE II: Build prototype systems and demonstrate that prototypes can perform in operational environments while providing the required information to the fire control computer. Demonstration at a government facility may be required to demonstrate the operational environment. A surrogate fire control computer (i.e. ruggedized laptop with simulated fire control software) can be used to support the demonstration in lieu of integrating with the actual fire control system. Produce final prototypes that meet system requirements per the SRS. Submit a final report that describes the testing performed on the items, and contains technical data on the gauge, simulated fire control software, and any other product deliverable. 

PHASE III: Phase II will consist of integrating the new BOP gauges into the fire control systems of mortar and artillery systems and deploying as appropriate. This technology has commercial application for any occupation subject to loud noises caused by sonic events (such as well drilling, rock blasting, building demolition, etc.), as well as certain sporting events such as football. 

REFERENCES: 

1: Brain Vulnerability to Repeated Blast Overpressure and Polytrauma

2:  Long, Joseph B

3:  May 2012

4:  Standardization of Muzzle Blast Overpressure Measurements

5:  Patterson, James

6:  Coulter, George A.

7:  Kalb, Joel

8:  Garinther, George

9:  Mozo, Benjamin

10:  APR 1980

11:  An Introduction to Detonation and Blast for the Non-Specialist

12:  Wilkinson, C. R. & Anderson, J. G.

13:  NOV 2003

14:  Use of Blast Test Device (BTD) During Auditory Blast Overpressure Measurement. Test Operations Procedure (TOP) 4-2-831

15:  DIRECTORATE FOR TEST MANAGEMENT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD TEST BUSINESS MANAGEMENT DIV

16:  12 AUG 2008

KEYWORDS: Blast Over Pressure, Traumatic Brain Injury, Hearing Loss, Pressure Gauge, Blast Attenuation, Artillery, Mortar 

CONTACT(S): 

Vincent Matrisciano 

(973) 724-2765 

vincent.r.matrisciano.civ@mail.mil 

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