DHS, FAA, Army Collaborate to Develop Aircraft Explosive Vulnerability Testing Tool

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The Department of Homeland Security‘s science and technology directorate has collaborated with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Army to create a simulator technology designed to test explosive vulnerabilities in aircraft.

The Aircraft Explosive Testing Simulator is designed for repeated explosive tests and built through S&T’s Commercial Aircraft Vulnerability and Mitigation program, DHS said Dec. 20.

“Lack of availability of new generation composite commercial aircraft structures for use in destructive explosive testing necessitated development of alternate test methods and tools,” said Nelson Carey, CAVM program manager.

“Doing so is essential to provide S&T and its U.S. government customers with accurate and efficient methods for conducting commercial aircraft explosive vulnerability assessments,” Carey added.

The simulator features a steel cylinder with an opening to accommodate composite test panels for installation and trial.

DHS noted that composite test panels are supplied through an interagency agreement with FAA and the agency’s National Institute for Aviation Research.

CAVM researchers plan to collect and use from the tests in order to determine the susceptibility of composite-based commercial aircraft structure to internal explosive threats from terrorists.

The Army Research Laboratory uses test data from S&T in efforts to produce numerical analysis models and tools that will work to simulate a composite structure’s response to threats.

CAVM also deployed the simulator tool during a series of tests with S&T’s Transportation Security Laboratory, the Defense Department, Transportation Security Administration, FAA and the French alternative energies and atomic energy commission.

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