Hybrid Thermal Lance
☆ Burning unexploded mines and saving lives.
Anti-personnel mines, anti-vehicle mines, IEDs, and unexploded ordnance (UXO) continue to account for numerous deaths and disabling injuries around the world. A majority of the victims are civilians, including children.
Ordnance disposal specialists have used a variety of techniques for destroying and disposing of such devices. One innovative method has been developed by Dr. Don Pratt of Messiah College in partnership with the HALO trust which uses deflagration to burn up the explosive material in the mine without detonating it. The “Hybrid Thermal Lance” uses the reaction between pure oxygen and an acrylic tube to create an intensely hot, but well focused flame, to burn through the casing of mines and consume the explosive material therein. Another benefit of this approach is the ability to safely transport all of the HTL’s components via standard commercial methods, including air travel.
Don Pratt leads a group of students at Messiah College’s Collaboratory to demonstrate, refine and test the HTL. Several prototypes have been demonstrated in Afghanistan and Georgia. Engineering development continues on refinements requested by HALO such as an electronic valve, a countdown timer, and simpler operation.
Don Pratt approached AW to investigate the feasibility of making HTL commercially available to NGOs and other organizations involved in the eradication of land mines, IED, and other UXO.
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