Why Simulate When Developing Mine Protected Vehicles

Published 2014-06-27

This blog article was written by: Andrew Brendt

Mine protected vehicles are routinely required to meet mine protection levels set out in specifications (eg. STANAG 4569). The process involved in obtaining certification for a vehicle according to these specifications can be costly and time consuming and become especially painful if a vehicle fails to provide the desired level of protection during testing. If simulation is used competently, it can decrease the chances of failing certification tests. This can provide a decisive advantage over competitors because it will not only reduce the development cost of a vehicle, but ensure that the vehicle performs more reliably in the field than would otherwise be the case.

In addition to the financial benefits simulation can offer, there are numerous technical advantages to using simulation as a development aid over a physical prototype. Some of these are summarised in the table below:

Simulation Model

Physical Model

One simulation model, multiple mine blasts locations possible

One physical prototype, one mine blast location

Clear results (no dust / smoke / over - or underexposure)

Capturing the response is challenging. Measurement equipment malfunctions are possible

Ability to examine all areas of the vehicle in detail during event

Can only examine areas of vehicle where measurement equipment or cameras capture the response

Reasons for specific loads and sequences of events can be established

Much of the time the reasons for specific behaviour has to be postulated based on post-mortem evidence

A vehicle failure in the virtual environment  is generally not viewed in a very negative light because a simulation model is inherently seen as part of the development process

It is extremely embarrassing if a physical prototype fails a test when you have a client looking over your shoulder

Simulation can be used to aid the design of a mine protected vehicle in a number of ways. Some of the important areas are given below:


Vehicle Hull:

-       Hull shape
-       Plate thicknesses and material selection
-       Positioning and design of joints (welded and bolted)

Human Response:

-       Seat design and occupant constraint
-       Seat positioning within the vehicle
-       Seat attachment to the vehicle
-       Floor / foot rest design

Internal Layout and Packaging

-       Any loose object within the vehicle has the potential to act as a potentially deadly projectile
-       Ammunition that could be set off by shock loading needs to be positioned and stored very carefully

Simulation clearly has some very attractive attributes, but it is prudent to note that it is not a certification tool. It is a design tool. Simulation provides representative response information that allows informed design decisions to be made. The aim of performing mine blast simulation is to reduce the amount of physical testing required, not eliminate it.

Having established the motivation for using simulation in the development of mine protected vehicles, the approach and software used to perform these analyses merits discussion. This will be the topic of the next blog article titled “Performing Vehicle Mine Blast Analysis”.

This blog article was written by: Andrew Brendt


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