Evaluation of Landmine Clearing Mechanisms: Chain Flails and Mine Hammer 2005-01-3540
Several mechanical demining machines employ flails as the key mechanism for neutralizing landmines. Typically, flail systems consist of a rotating drum with a series of long chains with masses attached at the end. These masses strike and mill the ground that detonates and/or fragment buried landmines. Despite flail-based technology existing for several years in the demining field, minimal studies regarding the interaction with soil have been conducted.
Three chain flail systems were evaluated in the soil bin at various rotational speeds. High speed videography of single pass operations indicated that a consistent and repeatable cleared path was not obtainable. This validated the need for multiple passes to effectively clear a minefield. The results were compared with the Mine Hammer mechanism that had consistent impacts on the surface. The load distribution at the various depths was recorded and the magnitude of the impulses calculated varied with depth and level of soil compaction. The soil penetration profile was measured by recording the depth and volume of the loose soil overburden along with the geometry of the compact (hardpan) interface of the cleared path.