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Full Scale Evaluation of Lightweight Personal Protective Ensembles for Demining

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Technical rept.

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A wide range of equipment, in the form of helmets, vests, aprons, trousers, etc., is currently in use around the world to protect deminers against the effects of anti-personnel AP mines. Significant variations exist in terms of the level of protection afforded, operational usefulness, quality of manufacture and cost of each of these components. To date, there had been only limited studies undertaken to systematically and quantitatively assess the effectiveness of the different protective components finding their way to both the civilian and military demining theatres. This study summarizes the efforts of numerous full scale test series carried out during 1999, with particular emphasis on quantifying the protective performance against blast AP mines of selected concepts of humanitarian demining ensembles. Concurrently, it was possible to also assess aspects of the blast and related fragmentation resistance of individual components. To this effect, full size human surrogates have been used, in the form of instrumented anthropomorphic mannequins. In order to provide meaningful and reproducible data, in the context of explosive blast experiments, it was necessary to devise a blast resistant test set-up which permitted realistic experiments to be conducted. There had been no systematic studies conducted to date involving instrumented human surrogates exposed to a wide range of blast AP mine threats, and the relative protection afforded by different demining protective kit had not been quantitatively evaluated. For this purpose, advanced positioning rigs were developed and constructed by Med-Eng Systems MES, which permitted the mannequins to be accurately and reproducibly supported in various common positions used by deminers. The mannequin, dressed in a particular protective ensemble and configured in the desired position, was suspended at representative field operating distances from a simulated or actual mine, as deduced from measurements taken with deminers.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Land Mine Warfare
  • Ammunition and Explosives

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