Science and Technology News

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ten Technologies: A Brief Look at Military Evolution — Explosive Ordinance Disposal Equipment

By Carla Voorhees,
Defense Media Activity

This is the ninth in a series of 10 technologies integral to the United States military since World War I.

The origins of the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Division can be traced back to World War II when they were used to counter the complex weapons systems deployed by other nations. Today, this center adds Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) to the range of threats EOD technicians respond to around the world.

Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of electrical engineers, intelligence specialists, physicists, chemist, and information technology experts work together to conduct research. They also develop tools to reverse-engineer existing ordnance, and develop ways to render them safe, and develop new technologies to counter emerging threats.

Today’s technicians use sophisticated robots, virtual reality, and advanced technologies to train for, and perform, the mission at hand. Picatinny Arsenal contributes to this field with a number of improvements to the traditional EOD robot, such as the Wide Angle Robotic Vehicle Vision System, which increases the ability of the EOD technician to navigate the robot through the terrain safely.

Additionally, Picatinny Arsenal developed the Robotic Vehicle Trainer, a realistic video game that simulates combat environments and allows the EOD technician to practice on the same controls as actual robots.

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