Operational Concept

The following represents current ideas and current solutions to problems know.  It is by no means comprehensive of future developments and unrecognized problems.

Step 1:

The target area is identified.  Areas should be broken down into 20’x20′ sections to maximize safety.

The ROV is deployed with 1. High pressure water cannon,  2.  Remotely extendable and retractable wooden probe,  3. Digital camera (live feed and recording), 4. Low/Med pressure paint gun

  1. High Pressure Water Cannon:    Water is stored in a large tank that can be detached from the ROV. Water passes into a 100PSI tank, and is pressurized.  After activating a high speed solenoid, water pressurized to 100PSI is passed through a high pressure hose to the cannon tip. The cannon tip constricts and focus the flow, also increasing effective water pressure.  The water cannon is aimed by means of moving the robotic arm.  The purpose of the water cannon is uncover and expose as much of the ordinance as is safe.
  1. Remotely Extendable/Retractable Wooden Probe:  Hardwood dowel 1/4” to 1/2” slide mounted in end of tip.  A DC stepper motor controls the extension, and a servo locks the probe into position once set by the operator.  The purpose of this probe would be to identify ordinance edges, and further expose it.
  2. Digital Cameras:  Provides live video feed to LCD Display (located on controller).  Allows the arm to be moved and positioned as needed based on available video.  Allows the water cannon and paint gun to be “aimed”, and allows the claw attachment to be safely operated.
  3. Low/Med Pressure Paint Gun:  Fires a stream of  UV/Fluorescent Orange paint, in order to mark the ordinance by visual sight, and by means of UV illumination.  Paint will be fast drying, able to adhere wet and durable.

RORV approached target area, as the operator scans the terrain up close for suspected ordinance.  Once suspected ordinance is detected, the operator safely positions the RORV and himself.  After aiming the arm at the desired area, he fires a blast of high pressure water to verify ordinance, and expose it.  The operator fires a short stream of pain on the ordinance.  If necessary AND safe, the probe may be used to locate the edges of the ordinance, and gently expose it further.

RORV leaves the ordinance, and locates others.  They will be verified and marked as previously described.  Once 1/6 of the target area (or smaller) has been marked and exposed, RORV returns to the base.

Step 2:

The probe/cannon tip is removed, and replaced with a robotic claw.

The RORV is outfitted with necessary demolitions for safe removal in claw.  A low resistance wire spool is attached to the RORV to return charge lines to the base.

RORV returns to previously marked ordinance, and places a charge on each.  After laying each charge, the RORV must return to base to ensure safe transit of the charge lines.  The operator takes appropriate safety measures (shielding, flack jackets, helmets, etc).  The operator also protects the RORV by using a natural or constructed shield.

The operator sounds the blast warning.

The operator detonates the charge.

The RORV is returned to the next piece of ordinance, and again lays charge and charge lines.  Operator safely detonates charge.

Before the battery is 75% depleted, the operation is halted until batteries can be recharged or replaced.

Interchangeable arm probes are removed, and properly cleaned and stored.  RORV modules are removed for cleaning and maintained as necessary.

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2 responses to “Operational Concept

  1. I would be worried that 100psi water jet would be sufficient pressure to detonate anti-personnel mines, thereby destroying your robot in the process of uncovering the mine….unless you could build one that is robust enough to take the blast of a small AP mine, and able to right side itself if flipped by the blast, in which case a water jet might be very practical. I fear that with the small size & non ferrous construction of modern anti-personnel/cluster munitions, that there is little alternative to a trained de-miner scouring patches of ground by hand.

    • 100 PSI may indeed be too much pressure (if to avoid unplanned detonation). This method was suggested by a soldier who had seen its use. Perhaps the stream could have a variable pressure? The 100 PSI rating would certainly need testing to determine the actual force supplied at various distances.

      The design calls for a heavy/durable robot, but it’s no tank. A large and close explosion could cause serious damage to the machine.

      While there may not currently exist a good alternative to EOD-type crews, the goal is to seek out a possibility for one to be developed.

      Thank you for your comments.

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