Date of Award

5-2007

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Habib J. Dagher

Second Committee Member

Eric N. Landis

Third Committee Member

Roberto Lopez-Anido

Abstract

Force protection has become a high priority of the United States military for the last several years. One area where there is inherintently little protection is in tents. During the beginning of conflicts as well as for units who are highly expeditionary, the opportunity to up-armor their tents with sandbags or other conventional protection schemes is not existent. Conventional force protection schemes generally require a great deal of logistical support or manpower to erect. This requirement led to the development of the Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS). The MBPS began its development with a review of commercially available armor systems. Building on that technology review, development of a new armor panel began in order to achieve blast and ballistic performance requirements. The panels also needed to be relatively lightweight, reusable, and meet cost limitations. The ballistic performance was the first phase of design for the MBPS panels. Ballistic screening tests were conducted with several preliminary designs. Revised panel designs were then created and tested until a panel was found that achieved the performance requirements. Several ballistic tests were conducted utilizing right circular cylinders (RCCs), fragment simulating projectiles (FSPs), and conventional lead and armor piercing rounds. Occurring simultaneously to the ballistic evaluation of the panels was an analysis of the predicted blast load for the panels. This led to laboratory testing where the flexural strength of the panels was evaluated. A structural analysis of the TEMPER (Tent Extendable Modular Personnel) tent was also conducted. The flexural strength of the panels was then compared to the expected blast loadings. The flexural strength of the panels was found to be sufficient to survive full scale blast testing with no damage. Eleven detonations were achieved during two series of blast tests on the MBPS. Failure was not found in any of the panels, connections or ground anchors. The TEMPER also performed very well with only a minor tear in the tent fabric found during the very last test. Previous blast tests of the unarmored TEMPER gave an indication that there would be significant damage to the tent from the pressures and impulses recorded during the blast testing of the MBPS. The successful full scale testing of the MBPS led to arena testing of the MBPS panels. Four munitions were statically detonated in the test. Groups of four and five panels were attached in series to wooden frames. Measurements were made on the penetration performance of the panels against the mortar fragments. The MBPS can provide increase protection to soldiers in hostile areas where protection was not previously available. Two prototypes have been deployed as demonstrations to soldiers in the Middle East. With the soon to be completed system design and subsequent final evaluation by the military it is hoped this product can be manufactured to protect soldiers in country from fragmentation threats and greatly reduce the injuries from these attacks.

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