Diminishing Detonator Effectiveness through Electromagnetic Effects



Invention Summary

The present invention relates to the field of detonators for explosive or blasting environments, particularly methods for deactivating or reducing the performance characteristics of detonators. Non-contact means of electromagnetically coupling energy into commercial and improvised detonators were shorted and open-circuited to melt the bridge wire, thereby making the detonator harmless. Due to the nature of the load, pulsed power techniques were employed with noisy modulation. Experiments have shown that a commonality exists among the various bridge wires tested. Based on these commonalities, it is not necessary to know what is inside of the black-box in order to compromise the detonator effectively.


Market Opportunity

Legal explosive devices using detonators may be present in construction projects, drilling or mining projects, demolition projects, and military projects. Further, there is a need to secure our borders and transportation routes from commercial and improvised electronic detonation (IED) for malicious purposes. It is often desirable to deactivate explosive devices or even detonate those devices under controlled action. Some detonators are activated by movement (e.g., mercury switches), timing devices, distal signaling devices (e.g., phones, microwaves, RF transmission, or magnetic response) and the like. As the mechanism for detonation may be unknown or may be known or feared to be unstable, detonation is usually problematic as the conditions cannot always be fully controlled. It is difficult to move, transport, manipulate or physically act on an explosive device that is suspected of being capable of intentional or accidental detonation.


Features & Benefits

•The invention provides a greater level of control in the environment of explosive deactivation or neutralization by addressing the detonator element itself. If the detonator itself is disabled, destroyed, or reduced in terms of the effectiveness of performance, the control over the explosive environment is greatly enhanced. Even though the explosive may accidentally or intentionally be detonated, that probability is reduced by addressing the functionality of the detonator.


•When a pulse of power is properly modulated, one can couple electromagnetic energy in a detonator when its lead wires are parallel (less than an inch apart), open circuited, and an inch long.


Intellectual Property        Patent filed



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Robert Schill
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