netic mines, and the unlikelihood of effectively clearing tough obstacles, it would seem that JAMC is best suited to the larger cleanup job following the initial assault.

  • Clausen Power Blade (CPB). The Clausen Power Blade offers a single unique feature: a conveyor belt made from the street track of a dozer, capable of running in either direction and oriented vertically across the front of a D-7. In trials conducted on land, the system has demonstrated its ability to clear an 11-foot swath of land mines buried down to around 10 inches, removing obstacles of up to 4,000 pounds. Mines, obstacles, and the excavated material are stacked in the berm to one side of the vertical conveyor belt mounted above the narrow cutting blade. In these tests, the relatively slow rate of advance, cushioning of the excavated material, and manner in which the smooth surface of the conveyor belt shifts the material to one side reduce the chance that pressure mines will be detonated. To the knowledge of the panel, tests have not been run against magnetic, tilt-wand, and trip wire mines. Neither has the vulnerability of the cutting blade and the conveyor system to a mine blast been tested. The absorption of explosive energy by the mound of dirt before the conveyor may reduce damage to some degree. The conveyor system is a unique addition to the mechanical removal of land, beach, and surf zone mines and obstacles. However, the CPB suffers from difficulty of insertion during the early phases of an assault; its rate of clearance is relatively slow; the berm containing removed mines must be dealt with; and likely delays due to the vulnerability of the blade and conveyor system to mine blast make this, like JAMC, more suited to the larger removal job following the initial assault.

  • Wattenberg Plow (WP). Designed at LLNL and recommended for consideration by the JASONs during Desert Shield, the Wattenberg Plow is a new approach to the mine plow concept. The strongback with vertical cutting knives at 4-inch spacings, behind a blanket of cross-linked chains, is towed from a distance of 600 feet by a helicopter at speeds up to 20 knots. The knives are torque mounted so that they ride over immovable objects to prevent breaking, and the chain mat is there to keep the system stable and on the ground under tow. A wire basket is mounted on the chain mat to catch mines that are excavated and pass over the strongback. Half-scale tests have indicated that the system can be towed effectively at speeds up to 20 knots, and the system as a whole can perform and survive very well. Static tests with an antitank mine indicated that the system suffered only minor damage that could be repaired quickly and inexpensively in the field. The vulnerability of the helicopter makes it unlikely that the system would be used in the early phases of an amphibious assault or in the breaching of a land minefield subject to cover by artillery. Demonstration of the prototype indicates that although it is useless against obstacles, the plow can be effective in removing mines from inland minefields and from the surf and craft landing zones and would be particularly useful in humanitarian demining. Tests have also



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement