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Title: A systems approach to the design of personal armour for explosive ordnance disposal
Author: Couldrick, Christopher A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3390 2455
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2004
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A qualitative description of the personal armour design system is elicited by comparing armour throughout the ages. Inputs that 'shape' designs are the materials technology, threat, wearer, task and environment. The emergent properties of protection, ergonomic effectiveness and financial cost form the basis of trade-offs to select final solutions. Work on the protection subsystem refines the key positive emergent property of personal armour. Existing quantifications of protection effectiveness are rejected in favour of a novel measure named the Usefulness Factor, UF. This is the first measure that accounts for the real benefit of armour. A five-stage model is proposed for the assessment of protection. Two feedback loops - due to making tasks as safe as possible and the ergonomic penalty of armour are evident. These must be considered in order to assess protection correctly. Casualty reduction analysis software (CASPER) is used to produce 'approach plots' and 'zones of usefulness' in order to make tasks safer and map the benefit of armour. This approach is demonstrated with the UK's Lightweight Combat EOD Suit against L2A2 and No. 36 Mills grenades, an HB876 area denial mine, a BL 755 sub-munition and a 105mm artillery shell. Assessment of secondary fragmentation from antipersonnel (AP) blast mines defines a threat input that is specific to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Trials are carried out with explosive charges of 50g to 500g, buried under 5 or 10cm of stones and sand at a range of 1m. The threat is defined in terms of the probabilities of (a) being hit, (b) a hit perforating armour and (c) a hit incapacitating an unarmoured person. The chances of being hit close to the ground decrease to approximately 15% of the value when directly above the mine. Secondary fragmentation is not likely to perforate armour that protects against primary fragments. However, it is likely to incapacitate an unarmoured person. Protection is traded-off against proxies for ergonomic and financial cost effectiveness by using quantitative optimisation of personal armour. This introduces the concept of a 'protection optimisation envelope', which defines the bounds of possibility rather than a single solution. CASPER is adapted to produce weight and cost as well as incapacitation parameters. This provides a model that generates both benefits and constraints of armour. Hence, the foundations are laid for the world's first fully integrated personal armour design tools. The ergonomic effectiveness subsystem is the primary constraint of personal armour. Visor demisting for the UK's Mk 5 EOD Suit provides a simple example. Existing methods of assessment of the ergonomic penalty of armour are considered. A novel development of biomechanics computational models is proposed to predict both the mechanical and thermal burdens of armour.
Supervisor: Iremonger, M. J. ; Gotts, P. L. ; John, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Body armour ; Casualty reduction analysis ; Ergonomics ; Explosive ordnance disposal ; Optimisation ; Personal armour ; Protection ; Secondary fragmentation ; Systems approach ; Usefulness factor