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ERW Clearance, Micro Vegetation Cutter, Operational, Evaluation, Vegetation, Cutter, Beaver, HD R&D, Institute for Defense Analysis, Michael Collins


The Micro-Vegetation Cutter (MVC) system was tested in the late summer and early fall of 2004 at a U.S. Army Countermine development site in central Virginia. The MVC project was funded by the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), Countermine Division, Humanitarian Demining (HD) Research and Development Office located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. The MVC system, consisting of a remote-controlled vegetation cutter vehicle and a command vehicle, is the product of the project engineer, Mr. J. Michael Collins. Mr. Collins was responsible for the concept, its design, and directed the MVC’s fabrication. All work was performed in the Modeling and Mechanical Fabrication Shop located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

During the annual Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Requirements Workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Humanitarian Demining Program Office, located at Ft. Belvoir, and attended by representatives of demining organizations throughout the world, one of the more frequently requested equipment needs was for systems that can be used to prepare areas for demining operations. While there are many commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) pieces of equipment available, most are large and expensive. Thus, there was still a need for a small, affordable, robust system having cross-country mobility and the capability to clear light to moderately heavy vegetation and remove surface ferrous metal scrap in preparation for demining activities. With this objective, the Humanitarian Demining Program Office funded the design and fabrication of a concept developed by Mr. J. Michael Collins, a mechanical systems engineer in the Program Office. The concept, consisting of a multiattachment, remotely controlled, boom and stick work vehicle, named the Beaver, and an armored control vehicle, named the Duck, comprise the Micro-Vegetation Cutter (MVC) System. Fabrication was completed in the summer of 2004. A pre-evaluation test was conducted in March 2004 at Ft. Belvoir to insure that all systems functioned as intended. The results of the MVC system pretest are included as this report’s Appendix. After completing the system assembly and addressing some of the issues raised during the pretest, an operational evaluation test was scheduled for late summer 2004.



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