Original Date: 07/20/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Demilitarization Robot
SIAD obtained a High Agility Ground Accessible Robot (HAGAR), shown in Figure 2-2, for use in demilitarization operations of explosives and propellant. Use of the HAGAR has greatly improved operational safety and employee confidence.
Previously, when a demilitarization process was interrupted by exposed wiring being cut by metal fragments or misfire, employees would observe the demilitarization pit for 30 minutes from a distance of 8,600 feet. The actual explosive material was not visible due to the configuration of the pit. If they observed no smoke during that time, an employee would enter the pit to determine the cause of the malfunction. Occasionally the explosives could still be burning without smoke, thereby placing the employee at great risk. If the explosives were found to be burning, the pit would be cleared to allow the explosives to self ignite or burn out, thus delaying the demilitarization of 10 to 20 tons of explosives. SIAD recognized the need to develop a quicker method to inspect the pits without endangering employees.
Working with Sandia National Laboratory’s Robotic Division, SIAD obtained the HAGAR to allow remote inspection of the pits to determine misfire cause. The HAGAR provides remote visual inspection of the pits through a 24:1 zoom color camera. Employees view the explosives and munitions on a monitor from the safety of the firing bunker. Assessments of the situation are made without endangering personnel. The HAGAR is lightweight, portable, and user-friendly. Additionally, the HAGAR has only five moving parts and is supportable through the commercial market.
SIAD used the HAGAR 16 times in 1997, finding five instances of two cut firing lines. The benefits obtained through the use of the HAGAR include increased safety for employees, increased confidence during misfires, and increased production by reducing hold-over detonations. SIAD has future plans for upgrades to the HAGAR which include cruise control, a wider field of view, and increased speed.
Figure 2-2. Demilitarization Robot
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