Item: Precision blasting techniques for avalanche control
Title: Precision blasting techniques for avalanche control
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Kevin M Powell, Delta K Explosive Engineering Systems Ltd, Dunton Green, Kent, UK
Abstract: Experimental firings sponsored by the Center For Snow Science at Alta, Utah have demonstrated the potential of a unique prototype shaped charge device designed to stimulate snow pack and ice. These studies, conducted against stable snow pack, demonstrated a fourfold increase in crater volume yield and introduced a novel application of "shock tube" technology to facilitate position control, detonation and dud recovery of manually deployed charges. The extraordinary penetration capability of the shaped charge mechanism has been exploited in many non-military applications to meet a wide range of rapid piercing and/or cutting requirements. The broader exploitation of the potential of the shaped charge mechanism has nevertheless remained confined to defense based applications. In the studies reported in this paper, the inimitable ability of the shaped charge mechanism to project shock energy, or a liner material, into a highly focussed energetic stream has been applied uniquely to the stimulation of snow pack. Recent research and development work, conducted within the UK, has resulted in the integration of shaped charge technology into a "common" Avalauncher and hand charge device. The potential of the "common" charge configuration and spooled shock tube fire and control system to improve the safety and cost effectiveness of explosives used in avalanche control operations was successfully demonstrated at Alta in March 2000. Future programmes of study will include focussed shock/blast mechanisms for suspended wire traverse techniques, application of the shaped charge mechanism to helibombing, and a feasibility study into the design and development of non-fragmenting shaped charge ammunition for military artillery gun systems.
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Keywords: avalanche, explosives, blasting, shaped charges, artillery
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