SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  A10-048 (Army)
Title:  Multi-shot EOD Disrupter for Robotic Applications
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles, Weapons

Acquisition Program:  PM Future Combat Systems Brigade Combat Team
  Objective:  Design and build an innovative electrically-initiated (no mechanical trigger), mechanically actuated, semi-automatic, near recoilless, 12-gauge disruption tool for EOD robotic platforms.
  Description:  The intelligence community and trend analysis suggests that terrorism of the future will continue to include a vast amount of IEDs in their weapons arsenal. The rise in more sophisticated IEDs around the world and the EOD community exploring new disrupters to defeat them become even more critical to successful mission accomplishment. It is imperative that we think ahead and exploit recent technology development to assist the EOD technician in the field. Current EOD disruption tools provide single shot capabilities only and must be manually reloaded if target reengagement or multiple target engagement is required. That necessitates a return to the safe area, slowing mission effectiveness and straining robot energy resources. There are currently no fielded disrupters that provide a semi-automatic, multi-shot capability. The Joint Service EOD community has a need for a Multiple Round Disrupter capable of firing all 12-gauge 3.5” Percussion Actuated Neutralizer (PAN) cartridges. This capability would allow for the first shot to be a water shot and all subsequent shots being solid slugs. The Multiple Round Disrupter must be compatible with various robotic platforms and light enough to be employed by one EOD technician. The combined weight for the disrupter and all accompanying pieces should not exceed 10 pounds with an optimal maximum weight of 5 pounds. Likewise, the recoil force imparted to the robot from the disrupter tool must be negligible (200 lbf or less), and the firing system for the tool must be compatible with the electrical firing circuits currently found on the Foster-Miller Talon and iRobot Packbot robots (16 Volts, 500 milliamps for 2 second duration). The shotgun must contain a mechanical firing pin, capable of activating the percussion primers of the existing shotgun cartridges, but should lack such items as a stock, grip, or mechanical trigger, as it should not be designed for off-hand firing. In addition, the disrupter must also be equipped with a fool-proof (impact and ESD) mechanical safety that is also electrically initiated and must be easily verified by one or more of the onboard robot cameras with little operator effort. The restrictive weight limit placed on the tool may require research into materials other than steel, such as titanium or composites.

  PHASE I: Design an electrically-initiated (no mechanical trigger) semi-automatic shotgun with little-to-no recoil and capable of firing hot-loaded 3.5” PAN cartridges (4+ round capacity) without the use of multiple barrels or modification to the cartridges.
  PHASE II: Develop a prototype system and perform preliminary field testing.

  PHASE III: Technologies developed under this SBIR can be used for a variety of commercial and government applications. At face value, the electrically-initiated shotgun technology can be leveraged for future military robotic and remote systems, as well as numerous other applications such as law enforcement, bomb squads, etc. In addition, the technology allowing the disrupter to fire 3.5” hot-loaded 12-gauge ammunition while being near recoilless, as well as the lightweight materials research could be leveraged for other firearms.

  References:  ) The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) website: http://www.dtic.mil/ 2) Ideal Products, Inc - http://www.idealproductsinc.net/

Keywords:  explosive ordnance disposal, disrupter, disruptor, disruption tool, firearm, shotgun, semi-automatic

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. Is there a requirement that the proposed disruptor be mounted to the arm of the robots?
2. Is there a requirement for multiple water shots, or only multiple shots of PAN cartridges?
3. If a multiple water shot capability is developed, does water count against the weight constraint?
A: 1. Is there a requirement that the proposed disruptor be mounted to the arm of the robots?
A: Not a requirement exactly. The disrupter must be carried on board the robot, and must be aimed to a degree at least as well as by utilizing the robot arm. We are working within a small size requirement, so things like pulled carts are not acceptable.

2. Is there a requirement for multiple water shots, or only multiple shots of PAN cartridges?
A: There must be multiple water shots. This does not mean ALL shots must have the option to be water shots, but there must be at least 2 water shots.

3. If a multiple water shot capability is developed, does water count against the weight constraint?
A: Yes.
Q: Pertaining to the focus and intention of this SBIR topic, is there perceived value in the following type of solution?:

A carousel that holds multiple disruptors is mounted on the bay of the robotic platform. Upon expelling a shot, robotic controls allow the robotic arm to autonomously change out the used disruptor with a new one. The technology focus would not be on developing a new disruptor, but on a robotic system that would allow for multiple disruptor shots.
A: This is actually a tough question to answer. Yes, there could be value in this type of solution down the road as the ability to autonomously select tools (including disrupters) is being looked at for future applications. However, attempted to add autonomous movement to the robot often results in a considerable amount of integration issues and leads to a very complex project. Such a technology, although possibly beneficial, is above and beyond the scope of this project. We are looking for a single item that can simply bolt onto multiple existing robotic platforms.
Q: Is there a minimum water volume requirement for the water shots?
A: There is no set water volume requirement. However, we're looking for effects similar to that of the existing PAN, which fires roughly 150 cubic centimeters of water. Proposals that use more or a little less water will not be discounted but we are looking for a similar volume for existing disruption.

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