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                                                NEW LASER SOLUTION FOR DEFUSING UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE (UXO)
                                                BY THE USE OF A DISPOSABLE 3D PRINTED TOOL HEAD

                                                >  Dr. Oliver Meier, Managing Director
                                                  LASER on demand GmbH
                                                  Burgdorf, Germany

           The case of unexploded ordnance (UXO) considered here represents a serious threat to the society   Everything else is designed to allow an absolute low-cost production providing just the features
           in many parts of the world today and in future. In Germany alone, an average of 2000 tons of UXO are   needed – but not more. Therefore, components that are likely to be damaged or destroyed during
           still being discovered each year. Defusing and controlled demolitions are related to large limitations   bomb defusing are cheap and can be replaced easily.
           in public life and enormous costs. Therefore, it is urgent to provide the explosive ordnance disposal
           (E.O.D.) with the most suitable methods and devices to reduce the danger.  A mobile 8ft container unit including compact fiber laser, water chiller and cutting gas supply is used.
                                                                                  An electric heating powered by an uninterruptable power supply ensures constant temperatures
           Various defusing systems are currently on stock (Water jet cutting, Berliner method, etc.), which   during storage and transport even under freezing conditions. During use, the complete system is
           usually aim to interrupt the ignition chain. However, the use of these defusing systems is not always   powered by a mobile generator. That equipment is by far the most expensive part of the whole
           possible for technical reasons, so that in many cases only the blowing up of the UXO‘s remains as the   system, so it is placed in a distance of 50 to 100 m to the bomb while both the high power laser
           last possible means of averting danger. In order to avoid the resulting explosive damage, efforts are   radiation and all signals to control laser and periphery including safety functions are transmitted
           being made to carry out the required detonation with such a low energy input that it only results in a   by optical fibers. These components are industry proven, reliable and available on the market as
           weakened deflagration. All of these efforts are in experimental stage and still involve the possibility   standard elements.
           of turning into a full detonation. These so-called explosive opening procedures are regularly carried
           out with explosives. Most of the parameters of these explosions cannot be measured or influenced,   Compared to the methods used today, the laser defusing process offers an extremely precise
           which is why they are not released for use.                            energy deposition both for the notching process and the laser induced ignition. That feature allows
                                                                                  to ensure a processing of the bomb dud while keeping the risk for an unintended detonation low
           The aim of the presented new approach is to provide a faster and safer method of defusing   by maintaining the temperature setting in the uncritical regime. Moreover, the reliable control
           unexploded ordnance than conventional methods. By a laser notching process, a local thickness   of the energy input leads to a deflagration at the aimed minimum level of pressure, which keeps
           reduction is to be introduced into cylindrical sections of the UXOs, whereby a defined weakening   the damage of the surrounding very low. This was proven during the final demonstration at a 500
           is generated. This causes a substantial reduction of the maximum possible pressure and thus of   pound bomb, where the only damage at the equipment used was an affected laser cover slide of the
           the resulting detonation force. By means of a controlled low energy input, the deflagration, which   processing head and some broken plastic parts. All the other components of the laser processing
           has less force than the detonation, is to be triggered afterwards. Due to the emerging pressure,   head such as lenses, fiber connector and fiber are still usable for the next mission.
           the resulting notch effect is intended to rip open the shell along the groove and eject the detonator.
                                                                                  Finally, the systems technology developed is suitable for all existing conditions when bomb duds
           In contrast to industrial standard, where precise and costly equipment is used, our approach follows   are found in the ground such as different orientations, corrosion of the bomb and weather effects.
           a different route. High quality standard optical components are available at a reasonable cost level.

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