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ERW Clearance, Rotary Mine Comb, HALO, Mechanical, Demining, Afghanistan, Research, Development, HD R&D, Christopher Wanner
This report documents the field testing of two vehicle-based, mine clearing systems both of which are based on the use of the Rotary Mine Combing Tool (RMCT). The test was designed to expand upon the body of knowledge developed by the maker of the RMCT as well as incorporate performance data related to the implementation of the tool in the two vehicles chosen to host the systems and elements of an operational concept for employment of the systems.
The Rotary Mine Comb is an innovative tool capable of gently extricating buried objects from the soil and pushing them to the side of the path of the host vehicle. The RMCT’s two rotors, each containing four soil-engaging tines, intermesh and counter-rotate about the vertical axes as the vehicle travels forward. The tines lift and continuously nudge objects (including mines) above a minimum size from the center line of the host vehicle path to the outside edge. A given object will be nudged dozens of times in small increments as it is worked to the surface and off to the edge of the path. This action clears a mine free path in front of the vehicle without creating a large berm or soil heap. Previous testing has shown that the comb has a remarkable ability to cut through hard packed soils, clay, rocky and vegetated soils.