JANUARY 28, 2022 — Three inventors at the U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) were awarded a U.S. patent for a gauge which allows for more consistent measurements when collecting data on military ground vehicle underbody blasts.
Late last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent (number 11,187,718) for an Underbody Blast Gauge System Invention to Mechanical Engineer Dave Clark, Engineering Technician Thomas DuPont, and Biomedical Engineer Craig Foster, who all work in GVSC Survivability and Protection.
The Shock Gauge System, named “S3” by the GVSC inventors, was fabricated as a prototype measurements instrument and developed using the generic hull and drop tower apparatus at GVSC’s Occupant Protection Lab, located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
During a military ground vehicle underbody blast event, a tremendous amount of energy is instantly released from the explosives charge into the vehicle underbody structure. As a result, the vehicle structure experiences transient, high-impulse energy, resulting in sudden acceleration and velocity change in the vehicle structure. Resulting forces can cause serious injury and incapacitation to warfighters in the vehicle.
Accelerometer data recorded during underbody blast testing can demonstrate significantly high variation and inconsistencies potentially leading to an erroneous analysis and the inappropriate application of countermeasure technology. The problem is particularly accentuated in very high-energy vehicle underbody blast testing. The associated high energy, transient acceleration and velocity structural responses make the problem of consistent measurements data collection more severe.
The need for verifiable and reliable acceleration and velocity test measurements data provided the motivation for the three GVSC inventors to begin development of the new S3 Shock Gauge System.
To address the problem, GVSC inventors developed and obtained a U.S. patent for a Shock Gauge System equipped with fully integrated electromechanical and visual measurement redundancies. Redundant features in the new gauge record three independent dynamic measurements in concert with traditional accelerometer data, providing a means to verify accelerometer and velocity data during high-energy vehicle underbody blast test events.
In addition, video capture of the actuation of the S3 internal components provides an additional means to verify accelerometer and velocity data using high-speed video data analysis. The invention is unique in the design approach to combine multiple independent dynamic data collection methods to verify consistency of acceleration and velocity test data.
Story by Jerome Aliotta
CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center