TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons
OBJECTIVE: Develop a system that is safe enough to be operated among a civilian population that is capable of disabling critical components of opposition ground vehicles.
DESCRIPTION: The sociopolitical ramifications of collateral damage, especially the type of damage that can be inflicted with traditional anti-armor assets have made it increasingly difficult for the dismounted soldier to engage lightly armor vehicles. New armored vehicles are likewise much more likely to be equipped with remote weapon stations (RWS) to provide the "teeth" for these and these RWS are often highly instrumented to provide vision, range finding as well as weapon stabilization. If the instrumentation can be blinded or the stabilization destroyed, they become far less dangerous to the dismounted soldier and the civilian population as a whole. If the entire electronics of the RWS can be disrupted, even basic traversing and firing functions become disabled. Additionally there are static high value targets that represent a unique concern to the local civil population such as surface-air missiles, guns and associated radar and tracking equipment that is placed in or near civilian housing, hospitals, schools, mosques or other structures that would have strong negative sociopolitical, ramifications should they be attacked in a normal physical manner. The ability to disable these targets in a manner that provides for very low collateral damage, with respect to civilian loss of life, would increase the effectiveness of the dismounted soldier in the modern, news-centric, politically-charged environment. Soldier borne systems that can affect these or other "soft-kill" mechanisms are of interest. Most importantly are systems that provide these mechanisms at a distance or can be launched and function at a distance that provides the dismounted soldier with an appreciable level of remoteness (i.e., 100+meters). The system must be able to be deployed by a single dismounted soldier in a MOUT environment.
PHASE I: Explore and evaluate multiple non-kinetic-kill mechanisms that can provide either a mobility kill, defeat of a remote weapon station with a low collateral damage mechanism for leveling the playing field against mechanized assets. Develop a preliminary size, weight, and cost criteria for the given mechanism. Systems that require thousands of dollars per round (when produced in quantity) are considered beyond the scope of this project. The mechanism must be easy to deploy by an individual soldier and inexpensive enough that dismounted soldier feel free to deploy them. Concepts may either require contact or may function at a proximity are considered viable providing they can a similar level of defeat. A purely proximity system relying on strong electromagnetic fields, for example, should be able to demonstrate field strengths on the order of 1kV/m (objective) or 50V/m (threshold) as an electric field. While lower field strengths will easily damage or destroy sensitive electronics such as radio receivers or GPS/GLONASS (Russia's version of GPS) receivers, the goal is to disable the underlying vehicle and/or its remote weapon station, sensors and the vehicles engine control unit (if present). While contact systems would need lower field strengths, mechanism to mitigate shock hazards need to be addressed. Show that the proposed mechanism can function, and is operationally relevant for the deployed dismounted soldier. The proposed mechanism must be able to be delivered in a payload weighing less than five pounds, and be effective in disabling or disrupting the intended component of the mechanized system in under 5 minutes. Identify an existing fielded system that could be used for the deployment of the soft-kill system. In order to reduce the logistical burden of fielding such a soft-kill system, it is imperative to build on systems already deployed or are expected to be deployed in the near future. An engineering estimate in practical range of deployment should likewise be provided.
PHASE II: Down select the method/modality of deployment based on the work from Phase 1 as well as feedback from the customers. Once again, the ability to use or build on currently deployed systems is of primary importance. Develop bench prototype of the most promising non-kinetic defeat mechanisms, proximity or contact. Of special interest, but not required, are those mechanisms that that can be used synergistically for simultaneous deployment or those whose mode can be selected prior to deployment in order to maximize their utility against various armored vehicles (ie. Light vehicle vs structure). Demonstrate in a controlled environment those mechanisms and how they would disable relevant critical components. It is imperative that these mechanism are not viewed as lethal to bystanders save for concerns of an accidental kinetic effect from the deployment itself. Evaluate the mechanism's utility versus its propensity for accidental collateral (property) damage. Demonstrate a clear development path that would permit the bench prototype to convert into a system that can be deployed at range. For proximity based systems, develop mechanisms that focus or direct the effect at the particular target and reduce the accidental damage to civilian infrastructure (objective). All systems must be viewed as a non-lethal device (threshold) save for actual unintentional kinetic effects prior to functioning. Mechanisms to reduce the probability of an unintentional kinetic injury or fatality should be explored, e.g. drogue chutes. Using surrogate systems that are anticipated to have the same bulk/mass of the idealized system and demonstrate that they can be deployed in an accurate manner.
PHASE III: Work with both the Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian law enforcement agencies and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to develop guidelines for use and provide further guidance in areas to market the soft-kill system. Develop an understanding of the variations in needs between military and CLEO customers. Incorporate these expanded requirements into a system that can be commercialized leveraging both DoD, NIJ and private funding opportunities. Demonstrate live fire deployments of the actual system. Work with various customers inside the DoD to insure that the system can be deployed inside the existing Concept of Operations (CONOPS) or without an aggressive procedural change.
1: National Research Council, "STAR: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century", pp. 10-39, Washington, DC, 199
2: Merryman, Stephen A., Multifrequency Radio-Frequency (RF) Vehicle Stopper, www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA559055, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, VA, 201
3: Beilfuss, J., and R. Gray. "Source selection techniques for EMP direct drive simulation, IEEE 1989 National Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Denver, CO, 198
4: Hoeft, Lothar O., et al., "Comparison of RSPG waveforms with simulated EMP", IEEE 1991 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Cherry Hill, NJ, 199
KEYWORDS: Dismounted Soldier Protection, Body Armor, Electrical Systems Disruption, Vehicle Stopper, Military Operations In Urban Terrain, Cyber-physical Systems, Electrical Signal Conditioning, Chemical Signal Conditioning, Graphite, Tribology