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parari 2024
Australian Explosive Ordnance Safety Symposium
Interoperability and Interchangeability
19-21 November 2024
National Convention Centre Canberra, Australia

Symposium Abstracts

Session 1A

A Quick History of GW Design and Manufacture in Australia

Mr Lyndon Tilbrook
Directorate of Engineering, EMB/QinetiQ


There is a long albeit, fragmented history of the design and manufacture of Guided Weapons in Australia. Indeed, the Brennan Torpedo, designed and manufactured in Melbourne in the late 1870s can lay claim to be the world's first practical guided weapon.

A resurgence in Australian guided weapon 'know-how' occurred immediately after WW2 with the development of the Anglo-Australian Joint Project, largely centred around the Defence Science precinct in Salisbury, SA and at the Woomera Range. More recently, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation's Project Winnin grew to become Nulka, a successful hovering decoy that continues in production to this day.

As Defence embarks on the GWEO Enterprise, this history has been almost entirely forgotten.

This paper will trace the various start-stop phases of guided weapon and unguided rocket design and manufacture activity in Australia, and see what lessons can be learnt as we re-energise this sector.

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BLU Domestic Manufacturing - Part I and II Introduction and Energetic Material Qualification Development

Dr Daniel Mangos
Defence Science and Technology Group

FLGOFF Nathan Widdup
Aerospace Explosive Ordnance Systems Program Office


The second of the AEOSPO series of presentations in collaboration with key partners with the broad theme of BLU Domestic Manufacturing. This presentation will focus on Defence Science and Technology Group's (DST-G) role in undertaking Energetic Material Characterisation (EMC) and Energetic Material Qualification (EMQ) to ensure Australianised high explosive fills meet Defence requirements for an Australian manufactured supply of BLU series aircraft bombs. Specifically, discussion will be focused on the development of an Australianised explosive fill for BLU-117(AUS)B/B - 2000lb class warhead for domestic manufacture. The underlying intent of this presentation is to showcase the role of DST-G in enabling 'Australian Manufacturing' of the BLU series aircraft bombs.

FLGOFF Nathan Widdup will firstly present on the JSF and Air Force capability perspective followed by Dr. Daniel Mangos who will then present on DST-G's development of AFX-795(AUS) – a fully Australianised variant of AFX-795(US) otherwise known as ARX-4036. As part of Australia's modernisation of its Air Force through the procurement of a fleet of F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, supply issues around procuring sufficient Mk-84 BLU-117 (2000 lb) bombs has led to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) considering domestic manufacture of BLU-117 bombs filled with Australian ingredients. Bomb filling will be conducted at the Mulwala/Benalla manufacturing sites operated by Thales Australia (Australian Munitions).

For the development of AFX-795(AUS), key parameters to be discussed include processing behaviour, physical, thermal, sensitiveness characterisation as well as explosive performance properties comprising shock sensitivity, velocity of detonation, detonation pressure and Gurney energy. Importantly, fuze initiation reliability with the current in-service fuze (FMU-139C/B) was also verified via Generic Test Unit (GTU) trials. The research conducted to date suggest that a fully Australianised AFX-795 is feasible. DSTG EMQ efforts will continue as Thales Australia produces an industrially ready explosive fill.

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Session 1B

An update to the Quantity Distance QD tables in AASTP-1

Mr Matt Wingrave
Defence OME Safety Regulator (DOSR UK)


The NATO committee AC326 Sub Group C set up a working group to address some knows problems with the existing QD tables that are used in many nations explosives licencing calculations. This workshop demonstrates the new tables and gives some experience on calculating them.

The current QD tables in AASTP-1 were taken from the UK tables that were in existence at the time, which were themselves based on data gathered from World War 2. Since then, tests carried out by many nations have shown that for quantities around 6000 kg the hazardous fragments are thrown beyond the current Inhabited Building Distances while for small quantities the fragments don't reach the current extensive minimum distances that are required.

The working group has prepared AASTP-1 Edition C Version 1 that will use newly developed formula to provide QDs from 1 kg to 500 000 kg for each Hazard Division and each building type. These formulas calculate distances for separate explosive effects such as Blast, Debris and Fragments throw, a Progressive event from HD1.2 munitions and Thermal hazards too. The new distances are to be calculated separately for each explosive effect and the greatest distance is to be selected. In general it will be seen that, compared to the current standard, greater distances are required around the 6000 kg level while smaller distances are needed for small quantities.

Other changes now provide distances for HD1.6 munitions and have improved the useability of the given formulas to more easily allow calculation of both Quantity from Distance and Distance From Quantity.

These QD tables will be published in a new version of AASTP-1 during 2022.

Consequence Analysis Software in Support of Ammunition and Explosives Risk Assessment Safety Cases

Mr Christopher Heron
Directorate of Ammunition and Explosive Regulation (DAER, Canadian Dept of National Defence)


Use of Consequence Analysis Software in support of Ammunition and Explosives Risk Assessment Safety Cases: Canadian Department of National Defence Approach.

Explosives Safety Site Plans (ESSP) are developed to ensure that explosives safety requirements are met. An ESSP is necessary to demonstrate that separation distances, also called Quantity Distances (QDs), are adhered to for military installations where Ammunition and Explosives (A&E) are stored and handled, including A&E storage depots, holding areas, pads, re-supply points, transfer points, loading docks, burn pans, and handling areas designed, constructed, and used for recurring A&E operations. An ESSP does not prevent explosive accidents – it is intended to mitigate the consequences and provide an acceptable level of protection to exposed people and property.

QD is primarily consequence-based, which means that the occurrence of an accidental explosion is assumed. The probability of an event is thus not considered in a QD assessment. The QD between a potential explosion site and an exposed site recommended in NATO AASTP-1, NATO Guidelines for the Storage of Military Ammunition and Explosives, therefore represent a compromise deemed tolerable by the NATO AC/326 Group of Experts between absolute safety and practical considerations including costs and operational requirements.

The starting point for an ESSP is to meet QD criteria that prevent prompt propagation, e.g., the Intermagazine Distances (IMD), mitigate the consequences of an unintended explosion and provide an acceptable level of protection to exposed people and property. However, in some cases it may not be possible to meet all QD requirements due to a lack of space or mission requirements. When QD cannot be met, a risk assessment should be conducted.

This paper discusses the use of NATO QD in developing an ESSP, identifies various national and international software available to support risk assessments and outlines the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) approach to using proprietary consequence analysis software in support of Ammunition and Explosives Risk Assessment Safety Cases (AERASC).

An accompanying presentation will demonstrate the capabilities of the AECAT software (McCormick, Neil J., Lloyd's Register Applied Technology Group (Martec Ltd.), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

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Session 1C

Lifing Approaches and Ageing Algorithms

Dr Kevin Jaansalu
Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC)


An algorithm describes a process within a system. For lifing algorithms, the system is defined by the national approach to munition life management.

From different national approaches, four different lifing systems are proposed and each system is described along with the level of information required for the algorithm to function. Any munition lifing algorithm must take into account different modes of failure of energetic and non-energetic materials, including rupture, fatigue, thermomechanical fatigue, as well as changes in properties and composition due to chemical effects.

Many examples from the literature on modelling these different modes are presented.

The aim of these lifing algorithms is to extend munition service life: as more certainty is gained about actual exposure and its effect on material properties, the duration of service of a munition can be increased with confidence. Additional examples demonstrate that effort must also be expended to understand the effects of data precision, uncertainty, and accelerated testing.

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ExploSim: Using RF to emulate explosive effects

Mr Donald Williams
Layer 3 Services


Until now there has been no way to demonstrate, in a real-world, real-time, manner: blast from explosions; fragmentation from munitions; heat from fires; and downwind effects from chemical, biological and radiological material. The ability to use RF energy to emulate 'Hazard over Distance' without causing damage provides this capability. This presentation follows on from the concept paper delivered to the 2019 Parari symposium.

The ability to trigger an event and have immediate indication of the effects creates an entirely new training environment. It allows frontline services to test their processes, practices and procedures, it allows planners and managers to validate systems and engineers to challenge their designs.
Using radio frequency energy, the 'Hazard over Distance' systems emulate the hydrodynamics of blast, the ballistics of fragmentation, the thermal energy of heat and the downwind hazards of CBR. This has only been possible in the last few years due to improvements in RF technology and miniaturised computing capability.

The systems consist of a transmitter into which the parameters for the hazard are entered and receivers which are issued to participants or placed on selected equipment, assets or structures.

An explosive emulation system, which confirms the feasibility of the concept and design, allows the user to choose from 25 types of explosives and charge weights from 100 grammes to 20 tonnes. When initiated, the receivers indicate: blast lethality, blast injury, the probability of fragmentation strike and significant structural damage. Since the presentation to Parari 2019 the system has been enhanced, simplified from the user's point of view, and is now in production.

Such an emulation capability enables bomb technicians, high risk search, entry teams, security managers, chief wardens, consultants and engineers to 'see' the effects of an explosion. Other proposed systems include:
• A fragmentation emulator permitting troops on field exercises to immediately tell if they have been injured by fragmentation from artillery and mortar shells.
• A fire emulator allowing firefighters to train with an accurate indication of thermal injury.
• A chemical, biological and radiological emulator to provide an immediate indication of CBR effects to CBR response units, planners and emergency coordinators.
These systems will build on the proven capability of the blast emulator, altering the inputs and the criteria for indication of damage.
The use of RF energy to emulate other forms of physics and thereby indicate 'Hazard over Distance' enables an entire new training and validation capability.

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Session 2A

BLU Domestic Manufacturing - Part III BLU Industrialisation

Mr Mike Manchée
Australian Munitions

Mr Duncan Watt
Thales Australia

FLGOFF Dimitar Iliev


The addition of metal wires to rocket motor propellant grains has the potential to produce increased effective burn rates, leading to improvements in propulsion system design. DST Group is embarking on a program of work involving both experimental and modelling components to investigate the potential benefits that this technology has to offer for increasing the performance of propulsion system design.

The primary mechanism involves heat being transferred from the combustion gases into the propellant, which increases the local propellant temperature, which subsequently leads to an increase in the local propellant burn rate. The prospect of increasing the burn rate of propellant allows for the investigation of a variety of novel embedded wire grain geometries that have the potential to increase propulsion system ballistic performance, along with higher propellant loading density.

The combination of these attributes will likely lead to more powerful and volumetrically efficient rocket motor propulsion systems. For example, a reduction in booster length, and hence overall system length can afford significantly improved platform compatibility. Likewise a reduction in ordnance diameter can increase aircraft weapon load-out configurations. The technology also has potential for other propulsion systems applications, for example scramjets naturally have low volumetric efficiency, so the length advantage of a burn rate augmented grain could again, be extremely effective at improving overall system performance.

To predict performance and optimise motor design, a number of computational models are being created including a physics based approach to accurately model the heat transfer mechanisms. These in turn will be used to investigate the effects of key performance parameters on ballistic performance and inform the design of test motors for validation.

The test motors will be built and statically fired at DSTs Rocket Motor Test Facility, starting with small sub-scale motors and building up to larger tactical size motors with planned static and dynamic test demonstrations. This will allow for testing of the aforementioned performance parameters including wire material, size and configuration.

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BLU Domestic Manufacturing - Part IV BLU Arena trials

Mr Sam Bevan
Joint Proof and Experimental Unit

FLTLT Burentogtokh Altantsetseg
Aerospace Explosive Ordnance Systems Program Office


The fourth of the AEOSPO series of presentations in collaboration with key partners with the broad theme of BLU Domestic Manufacturing. This presentation is developed in collaboration with JPEU for performance testing of BLU series bombs through Arena Trials.

With the largest ever EO Arena Trial conducted in Australia, the second horizontal BLU-111(AUS)B/B Arena Trial was successfully conducted in June 2022 at JPEU Port Wakefield. This is however, only halfway through the Arena Trials campaign with the completion of the BLU-126(AUS)/B in 2021, and BLU-117(AUS)B/B planned after the completion of the BLU-111(AUS)B/B Arena Trials.

FLTLT Buren Altantsetseg will present from the customer's perspective providing broad US requirements and the NATO ARSP standards.

Mr. Sam Bevan will then present from JPEU Test Range Port Wakefield on the BLU Arena Trial journey. Starting with how the largest sovereign Arena Trial undertaking was developed since late 2019 and the many lessons learnt from it. How these were then rapidly incorporated into the next series of Arena Trials, all with the focus of building a 2000lb class warhead Arena Trial capability. JPEU will also contrast the requirements of the AOP to the US led testing and seeking a "like" data set.

JPEU will also present how future sovereign Arena Trials will be conducted and what it would mean going forward for Sovereign Manufacturing.

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Session 2B

Ammunition and Explosives Consequence Analysis Tool (AECAT) to Support Risk Assessment of Storage-Based Explosive Scenarios

Mr Neil McCormick
Lloyd's Register Applied Technology Group (Martec Ltd, CAN)


The Ammunition and Explosives Consequence Analysis Tool (AECAT) is a software tool developed to support risk-based management and storage safety analyses of explosive scenarios for Canadian Department of National Defence (DND). AECAT is a scenario-based, physically accurate explosion modelling and simulation package built on the existing Rapid City Planner (RCP) platform. RCP provides a fast and accurate blast assessment capability from one or multiple explosive munitions with calculated outcomes to describe human injury and structural damage from blast and primary fragmentation effects.

The AECAT tool couples a virtual globe user interface with user-driven fusion of geospatial data from multiple sources to define storage-based explosive scenarios in a geolocated frame of reference. AECAT employs first-principles computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based calculations to evaluate consequences from complex blast wave interactions, primary fragmentation of ammunition and explosives, and secondary debris effects from storage magazine breakup. AECAT uses 3D GIS-based models of the A&E storage environment to consider the effects of surrounding terrain (elevation) variation as well as from infrastructure placement in the vicinity of the event. Detailed definition of explosive stacks and magazines (including light confinement and earth-covered magazines) is supported within the tool. AECAT is deployed on standard performance laptop or desktop hardware to facilitate fast analyses on the order of minutes to hours, depending on the level of fidelity.

This work will describe the state of development of the AECAT software tool currently in progress. Recent developments of the AECAT tool will be demonstrated for a storage-based explosive scenario and a comparison will be made between the physics-based consequence predictions and established QD principles. A system comparison to a real-world, historical explosive event will also be provided.

This work is presented in support of the accompanying Canadian technical paper "Use of Consequence Analysis Software in support of Ammunition and Explosives Risk Assessment Safety Cases"

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Revision of Australian Defence Burning and Demolition Ground Siting Criteria

GPCAPT Matthew Grant
Director, Ordnance Safety

WGCDR Gary Gibbs
Directorate of Ordnance Safety


The Australian Directorate of Ordnance Safety (DOS) has been reviewing key areas of its safety policy across the last 18 months. The review of its criteria for siting Burning and Demolition Grounds identified that the formulae and criteria in use had not been reviewed for a significant time. A query to the Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center requesting advice on partner nations' criteria indicated that the Australian criteria were dated, and in some cases not consistent with international practice. This paper describes DOSs activity to revise its criteria for siting Burning and Demolition Grounds, including the development of a simple formula for identifying Demolition Ground limits and considerations towards meeting Australian legislative obligations.

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Session 2C

New Developments on Polynitro Containing Molecules as High-Energy-Dense-Oxidizers

Dr Burkhard Krumm & Prof Thomas Klapotke
Ludwig-Maximilians University Of Munich


The search and synthesis of environmentally benign molecules containing only carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, as potential replacements for ammonium perchlorate as the commonly used oxidizer in rocket propellant compositions, represents an ongoing challenge. Part of our research at the LMU of Munich is dedicated since the last 20 years to develop new suitable candidates. Most materials consist of multiply substituted nitro containing molecules, which may then be classified as High-Energy-Dense-Oxidizers (HEDOs). With modern methods and testing devices the physicochemical properties are determined, in addition to the standard spectroscopic methods available at our university. Collaborations with international industry and governmental partners enable further up-scaling and testing.
A central building block for such molecules is the trinitroethyl moiety, which is available from the precursor nitroform. Many compounds containing this functionality have been synthesized over the last years and checked for suitability.
Additionally, safety aspects play an important role during this research.

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EO Shock Testing and Qualification, through use of the Portable Shock Machine JASSO

Mr Rhys Centin
Thornton Tomasetti


The Australian Defence Force (ADF) requires Explosive Ordnance (EO) items in its inventory which are impervious to unintended initiation during stowage, handling, and transport. One of the key requirements for EO upon entry into service is a qualification against shock loading. Traditionally, this testing occurs via the use of a drop tower to simulate the shock loading an item of EO is subjected to due to a fall from heights. The current Australian capability is limited to conducting drop tower tests at 12m. This has resulted in hard limits on the transfer of EO at heights. An example is the transfer of EO on and off RAN vessels via crane.

This paper presents an alternative method to using drop towers when qualifying EO for shock events. Thornton Tomasetti (TT) have proposed qualifying EO for shock events in Australia using our patented, portable shock testing machine JASSO. In the UK, JASSO has been accepted as a shock testing and qualification method for EO by the UK Ministry of Defence. JASSO uses a seismic source to provide an input pulse to an impact table, upon which the test article is attached. JASSO has been designed to be portable, with the footprint of a standard ISO 20ft container. Theoretically, JASSO can be transported anywhere in Australia, such as to a suitable testing site with a sufficiently large EO license for the NEQ of a given item being tested. JASSO has been designed with EO testing in mind and can be considered as a disposable. This is due to the relatively low cost of the machine, as components can be replaced or repaired following testing where an item of EO has been initiated.

The input pulse that JASSO imparts on the EO item being tested can also be varied through the use of modifiable springs, dampers and striker plates, as well as through altering the firing pressure of the seismic source. This presents another unique advantage over traditional drop towers, as the input pulse can be modified to represent the shock characteristics of falls from heights greater than the 12m limit imposed by drop towers currently used for ADF testing. The input pulse can also be configured to assess alternative shock loading configurations which are not possible with a drop tower. Drop towers are limited to only assessing a half sine input pulse, whilst JASSO can apply a full asymmetric sine wave.

Another advantage of using JASSO is the capability of the system to enable testing of items in the medium and heavyweight ranges. A JASSO machine has a rated capacity for all-up testing configurations of up to 5 tonnes, enabling heavier items of EO not suited to drop tower testing to be testing in-country.

TT proposes that the ADF consider adopting the JASSO machine as a novel method to qualify EO items for shock events, in order to compliment current shock testing methods as well as fill current capability gaps for shock testing.

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Session 3A

Influence of Risk Tolerability on Approaches to S3 Assessment

Mr Matthew Ferran
Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC), Brussels, Belgium


The NATO policy for the assessment of the Safety and Suitability for Service (S3) of non-nuclear munitions is described in AOP-15. This policy forms the basis for national policy, standards, and guidance for the process of S3 assessment in many NATO member and partner nations.

While application of this "standard" process continues to represent best practice in S3 assessment, increasingly there are situations where it is impossible, impracticable or unnecessary to assess munition system S3 in this manner; these situations are largely driven by the availability, releasability, credibility and applicability of munition safety information, but may also be due to the desire to rapidly field new capabilities or the requirement to operate munition systems of other nations.

MSIAC staff have conducted a review of the "novel" alternative approaches to S3 assessment in use within the member nations in an attempt to understand the drivers leading to their implementation. The different national approaches are reviewed within the context of national differences in risk tolerance in the hope that this may improve future international collaboration on S3 assessment.

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OME Recognition Program – Instilling Trusted Partnerships

Mr Gilles Belley
Defence Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives Safety Regulator, Department Of National Defence, Canada

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Session 3B

Improved assessment methods for Impulsive Noise Exposure and Hearing Protector Performance

Mr Colin Nelson
Specialist Engineer, Capability Acquisition And Sustainment Group


Since 2018 the Land Engineering Agency (LEA) has been investigating potential improvements to methods for assessing the impulsive noise exposure of small-arms operators, now possible due to advancements in modern data acquisition equipment and contemporary acoustics research. Given much of the international acoustics community appears to be converging on a common approach (noise dosage), LEA has developed a sophisticated suite of engineering methods and tools in line with this which gives a substantially more nuanced understanding and superior assessment of impulsive noise exposure compared to current practices. This presentation outlines the limitations of existing policy and procedures (eg. Australian Standards), discusses the emerging international noise-dosage consensus, briefly outlines the development work undertaken by LEA and the benefits thereof, and discusses the metrics and data generated by this work.

Spike LR 2 Minimum Smoke Rocket motor: Made in Australia

Mr Shlomo Mor Yosef & Dr Eyal Bittoun


Explosive industry

Session 3C

Enabling Safe Explosive Ordnance Storage

Mr Billy Durrant
Aecom Australia

Mr A Gehl
Karagozian & Case


This paper will present the key design considerations and outcomes of the redesign including the blast and structural design, mechanical functional and operational considerations for the updated Earth Covered Building (ECB) generic design.

Flexible safe and modern EO storage facilities are required to support fully networked and integrated functionality and capability outcomes that are delivered by next generation guided weapons to achieve joint effects. The objective of the Explosive Ordnance Logistics Reform Program (EOLRP) of purpose-built logistics infrastructure was to increase the EO storage and handling capability of the Defence Estate and to rectify existing network deficiencies. Whilst the program successfully rectified the existing network deficiencies and provided modernised EO storage facilities its purpose was not to provide storage facilities that met the emerging needs of next generation guided weapons.

Force Structure Plan 2020 directed Defence to 'develop options to increase supplies of munitions through an increase in weapon inventory across the ADF to ensure weapons stock holdings are adequate to sustain combat operations.' ECB's are the preferred storage means for any increased holding of mass EO munitions due to their efficiencies. ECBs are a reinforced concrete warehouse-type structure for storage of pallets and containers containing EO, with an external earth covering, and a hardstand to assist with receipt and dispatch activities.

A 'generic' template ECB design was developed for the delivery of the Enhanced Land Force and EOLRP projects. The template has been utilised to enable the delivery of ECBs across the Defence Estate. To achieve the optimal economic and safety results demanded by the EO network and Defence, the functional layout of ordnance insides the ECB has been designed for the composition and volumetric size of ordnance to be stored.

AECOM and K&C through an existing engagement to Security & Estate Group (S&EG) have undertaken a redesign of the 'generic' template ECB to modernise and optimise the ECB to the utmost safety standards. This demonstrated acceptable performance by the undertaking of a hazard effect analysis. The storage capacity was to meet a 75,000kg NEQ minimum for both general and Guided Weapons EO. The redesigned facility was to prevent the occurrence of a Maximum Credible Event (MCE) transferring to an adjacent ECB (the 'donor' ECB). To achieve this, the ECB template design prevents subsequent sympathetic detonations occurring in neighbouring ECBs (the 'receptor' ECBs).

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Design Improvements to Singapore High Performance Magazine

Mr Yuh Sheng Tay, et al.
Defence Science & Technology Agency, Singapore


In order to minimise sterilised land arising from ammunition storages, Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) collaborated Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC, then known as NFESC) in late 1990s to develop an engineered ammunition storage magazine based on the criteria developed for the U.S. Navy High Performance Magazine (HPM). The Singapore HPM was constructed and introduced into service in early 2000s. A review of the design was conducted with the intention to improve future Singapore HPM design in terms of operational efficiency, safety of the working personnel and the availability of the Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE). This paper presents the findings of the review and proposed changes to improve future Singapore HPM design.

Session 4A

Control of Electro-explosive Hazards in the Australian Defence Force - A Critical Overview of the Status Quo

Mr Kenneth Stowe
Directorate of Engineering, EMB/QinetiQ


This paper presents a critical overview of the status quo concerning the control of electro-explosive hazards in the Australian Defence Force. Firstly, a historical overview for the control of electro-explosive hazards by the Australian Defence Organisation is presented, which aligns with an assessment of the findings presented in a paper by Alan H. Nott and John D. Whitelaw entitled 'Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Testing of Electroexplosives in Australia', that was published in March of 2000. The threats arising from bridgewire electro-explosive devices (EEDs) in an electromagnetic radiation environment were presented in this paper, together with aspects of the standards, philosophy and simulation work performed in Australia to minimise such threats. The paper by Whitelaw and Nott assessed the current situation and capability in Australia, together with new and emerging techniques with applications in this field. An elapsed period of more than two decades serves as an opportune time to revisit the findings of Whitelaw and Nott, to expand upon the themes presented by them and to critically assess the status quo within the ADF, where it concerns electro-explosive hazards and the control thereof.

An Overview Of Helicopter-Borne Electrostatic Discharge As An Electro-Explosive Hazard In The Australian Defence Force

Mr Thinus Neethling
Directorate of Engineering EMB/QinetiQ


Electrostatic discharge represents a significant electro-explosive hazard to electro-explosive devices and electrically initiated explosive ordnance, as inadvertent initiation of an installed electro-explosive device may result in catastrophic consequences. Sources of electrostatic discharge in the Australian Defence Force include personnel, equipment, vehicles and aircraft, etc. Personnel-borne electrostatic discharge is certainly more common and widespread, but the electrostatic discharge potentials generated by personnel are not nearly as high as those associated with helicopters. Explosive ordnance (including their sub-systems) that are transported by, or installed on helicopters, may be exposed to electrostatic discharges when helicopters are landing, during vertical replenishment operations, 'hot' loading (an ammunitioning activity) and at take-off. This paper presents a current, holistic overview of helicopter-borne electrostatic discharge as a recognised electro-explosive hazard in the Australian Defence Force and outlines how the associated risks are controlled. The scope of the helicopter-borne electrostatic discharge hazard extends beyond that experienced during vertical replenishment, but also covers other potential exposure scenarios and the much broader scope of explosive ordnance items (including those that are not electrically initiated) that essentially need to form part of electro-explosive hazards assessments. At the dawn of a new Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise in Australia, a local helicopter-borne electrostatic discharge test and evaluation capability will certainly complement the manufacturing of high quality, reliable and safe explosive ordnance, including complex weapons. The status quo concerning helicopter-borne electrostatic discharge assessments and the lack of testing in the Australian Defence Force are therefore also highlighted.

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Considerations towards the Establishment of an E3 and HERO Test and Evaluation Capability in support of the Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise

Mr Michael Hayes
Directorate of Engineering, EMB/QinetiQ


On the 31st of March 2021, the Australian Federal Government announced the acceleration of the Australian Sovereign Guided Weapons (GW) and Explosive Ordnance (EO) Manufacturing Capability. Such a venture requires the implementation of wide-ranging test and evaluation (T&E) capabilities, to the extent that T&E has been recognised as one of the key supporting pillars for the success of this GWEO Enterprise. There are currently known deficiencies in the T&E capabilities specific to Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) testing pertaining to electrically-initiated EO, particularly in the areas of Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO) and bespoke testing to inform Electro-Explosive Hazards (EEH) more broadly. Limited evidence exists of HERO testing that has been done in Australia in the last 20 years, whilst current E3 test activities are relatively narrow in scope. The advent of the GWEO Enterprise has certainly highlighted the need to reinstate and further enhance this E3 test capability and the underlying HERO test capability in-country.

The purpose of this paper is to address the current shortfall in E3 T&E capabilities in Australia and to propose how this shortfall may be addressed.

This paper provides a gap analysis concerning current T&E in the space of local E3 testing and will discuss potential strategies towards the development and expansion of this crucial T&E capability.

This paper also outlines how the establishment of a sovereign E3 T&E capability will be beneficial to the ADF beyond the scope of the GWEO Enterprise.

Index Terms:
Electro-Explosive Hazards (EEH), Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO), Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3), Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEO), Test and Evaluation (T&E)

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Session 4B

Rheinmetall's Perspective and Support towards Australian Manufacture of its Medium Calibre Portfolio

Mr Eelko van Meerten & Mr Martin Melan


Rheinmetall provides a comprehensive medium-caliber ammunition portfolio for its own and other cannons. The portfolio covers a broad range of mission profiles and targets and allows minimizing the number of required ammunition types balancing performance with logistics.

The individual ammunitions out of the portfolio combine a high lethality (high performance in penetration and/or fragmentation,) with low dispersion), with versatility, reliability and safety. The latter with focus on handling ánd platform safety, being an integral part of Rheinmetall's Ammunition Portfolio Management.

Rheinmetall's airburst ammunition (ABM) is per example the ideal solution for contemporary vehicle main armament, ground-based anti-aircraft guns and naval applications. Based on NATO-qualified AHEAD technology, each ABM round contains a large amount of sub-projectiles and a programmable fuse, which is supplied with data from the fire control computer via a fuse programming coil as it departs the barrel. Due to AHEAD technology, the ammunition is an non-explosive ammunition type and therefor classified as insensitive ammunition. Since the ejection interval can be altered, the insensitive Rheinmetall airburst ammunition can be used to engage a wide spectrum of modern battlefield threats. This type of ammunition is also part of the LAND400 program.

Rheinmetall's Frangible Armour Piercing (FAP) ammunition is a new type of high-performance, explosive-free, multi-purpose ammunition for aircraft guns. Each round contains a special manufactured heavy metal based penetrator. After penetrating the target, the heavy metal material disintegrate into multiple fragments. As the fragments penetrate deeper into the target interior, the number of fragments increases, into a cascade of heavy metal fragments. This is a highly effective means of neutralizing armoured targets on the ground and in the air. Owing to their special design – and unlike conventional explosive-based aircraft ammunition – FAP cartridges does not result in ricochets as the projectile core disintegrates upon impact, and all of this without explosive material.

The portfolio also includes PELE (penetrator with enhanced lateral effect, without a fuse or explosive) and armour-piercing sub-calibre (APFSDS-T) ammunition, used by infantry fighting vehicles in a self-defence role for engaging ground targets and enemy aircraft. Like the FAP ammunition is the insensitive PELE a cost effective ammunition technology to replace conventional high explosive cartridges which is very safe to store, transport and handle; it can also be used for training purposes.

Corresponding target practice rounds for the ABM and APFSDS-T types and drill rounds complete the portfolio.

Being 30mm training rounds selected as part of the LAND400 program and being a solid base, and to create a solid supply chain, Rheinmetall has established a medium calibre manufacture line together with their Partner at Benalla. Next to the provision of insight into Rheinmetall's Insensitive Ammunition Portfolio, Rheinmetall likes to present some lessons learned out of this establishment of the manufacture, and related key challenges such as exchange of tech data, logistic challenges within the supply chain of qualified components kits and limitations such as proofing capacity / facilities in Australia. Rheinmetall's intend is present this a basis for potential future approaches moving forward.

The Use of Robotics and Automation to Remediate Stocks of Artillery Ammunition, Deemed Unsafe to Move, Due to the Possibility of Armed Fuzes

Mr Tim Hutchin
Pentarch Pty Ltd


In 2014, an incident involving artillery ammunition occurred during training. As a result of the incident, and subsequent investigation, a quantity of fuzes fitted to 105mm high explosive (HE) and Illumination ammunition, along with uninstalled fuzes of the same type, were quarantined. A risk that one or more of the fuzes could be in an armed state existed, and if moved, could function with catastrophic consequences. From 2014 to 2018, numerous options were investigated by Defence to remediate the quarantined stock. However, all involved considerable human involvement and transport of the items to another location. The risks that this posed were considered too high and consequently none were progressed.

In 2018, due to our experience in ammunition breakdown, automation and robotics and disposal of most types of explosive ordnance, Pentarch was asked to evaluate the possibility of designing and developing an automated process to remotely remediate all affected stocks.

The problem that existed had not been encountered previously and involved a range of factors that required novel solutions. Multiple sub systems were designed, built, integrated and tested to produce the system, which is now a running system in Defence, and is in the final stages of resolving this longstanding issue.
The system developed by Pentarch is an automated process that can be transported and assembled at the locations where affected items exist. The system remotely:
- decants pallets of ammunition within storehouses
- conveys pallets to a separate process area,
- removes ammunition boxes from the pallets,
- removes the ammunition tubes containing the rounds from the boxes,
- removes the round from the ammunition tubes,
- remove the arming fuze from the round
- X-rays the fuzes to ascertain whether in the 'armed' or 'unarmed' state
- relocates any 'Armed' fuze to an area appropriate for disposal.

This presentation shows the integration of a number of technologies to achieve the outcome required by Defence.

Software Safety Assurance for Explosive Ordnance

Mr Warren Miller
Software Assurance Desk Officer, EMB DENG


Warren Miller has 32 years of defence industry experience as a software and systems engineer. He has worked on F/A-18(A) Classic Hornet, S-70B-2 Seahawk, SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite, I-View 250 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), AEW&C E-7A Wedgetail, Vigilare Air Battle Management System (ABMS) and Currawong Integrated Battlefield Telecommunication Network (I-BTN) programs for several Defence contractors in a range of engineering related roles including software safety assurance. He is currently the Software Assurance Desk Officer within CASG EMB DENG.

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Session 4C

Fragmentation Safety Risks and Safety Distances for Field Storage of Large Calibre Munitions

Distinguished Professor Mark Stewart
University of Technology Sydney


This presentation describes a simulation-based approach to assess individual casualty risks and safety distances from primary fragments generated by detonation of 155 mm high-explosive munitions in field storage. This enables a probabilistic characterisation of uncertainty and variability of fragment generation, trajectories, modelling uncertainties, and human vulnerability. These variabilities may be considerable, and it is important to recognise that the world is not deterministic. The proposed probabilistic approach provides decision support for the determination of safety distance and risk reduction measures to prevent fatality and injury from primary fragmentation hazards. The method is demonstrated by a realistic case study estimating the fatality and injury risks for an individual in a standing position exposed to the detonation of a single 155 mm projectile. The analysis then considers casualty risks from stacked munitions, as well as the risk mitigating effect of protective structures. The results suggest that the risk-based safety distances obtained from the present study are less conservative than safety distances from existing literature and standards. The probabilistic methodology is applicable to all explosive ordnance, resulting in new advice to decision makers regarding safety and damage risks.

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Introduction Into Service of New Combat Weapon Systems Onto Existing Training Areas

Ms Julie Green
GHD Pty Ltd


At present GHD is assisting in the delivery of a number of ranges around Australia. Our experience has provided an opportunity to identify those aspects of weapons and ammunition procurement that are important in range design.

In light of the future delivery of Land 159 (lethality system project), we believe it is timely to discuss the implications of this project on existing (and soon to be built) training areas.

The aim of this presentation is to outline key characteristics of new weapons and new munitions that are critical to range design.

These go beyond simply developing new range danger area templates, but also the type and quantity of propellant in small arms munitions, gas pressure build up in weapons, acoustic and blast pressure profiles, fracture energy of rounds on ballistic walls, ricochet characteristics of rounds, and environmental impacts.

Our presentation will discuss the impact of introduction of new weapon systems (which includes selection of ammunition) on existing training areas based on non-specific case studies.

It will discuss the use of lead-free munitions (including green rounds); procurement of training verse operational ammunition, heavy metal management on ranges; concussive blast, ventilation and noise modelling.

We will do this by discussing methods of design for ranges (including CFD modelling, Monte Carlo modelling and other analysis techniques) and the data required to use these models.

We also hope to discuss where it is most efficient to collect data that can be used to validate the suitability of existing ranges for new weapons systems.

In summary, we wish to identify those characteristics of weapons and ammunition that, if tested during procurement, would assist in faster introduction into service onto our ranges.

We hope this generates discussion within Defence and Defence industry on how the procurement of new weapons and ammunition can help support the supporting introduction of new ammunition on our ranges as fast as possible.

This will become even more critical with the delivery of complex ranges in the future.

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Modelling and Simulation as a Risk Assessment Tool to Support Warships in Harbour

Mr Rhys Centin
Thornton Tomasetti


Facilities operated by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that are licensed to hold Explosive Ordnance (EO) are subject to a set of criteria called Quantity Distance (QD) rules. These rules stipulate the appropriate stand-off distances for siting various facilities such as other magazines, processing buildings, public traffic routes and buildings inhabited by the public. In most instances, QD rules are applied to facilities storing EO to ensure the safe development of infrastructure in the surrounding area. However, there are some certain instances where it is not appropriate to apply QD rules to a facility. One such case applies to warships that have EO embarked when they enter ports and waterways. In some instances, this can result in EO being sited within the recommended distances to infrastructure and personnel as stipulated by QD rules.

This paper presents the numerical modelling methodology used by Thornton Tomasetti (TT) to assess the risks to personnel and infrastructure within QD ranges of stored EO. This methodology has been extensively used to provide support to Warships in Harbour as well as Land-based EO storage facilities and included the development of safety cases for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Royal Navy (RN). These models have been used to inform the RN's safety cases for their warships, including the consideration of mitigation strategies such as birthing arrangements for warships which minimises the impact to personnel and infrastructure in the surrounding vicinity.

The paper will present two case studies which highlight the value of TT's modelling approach in evaluating the risks associated with EO to nearby structures and personnel. The first case study focuses on quantifying the risks to personnel and infrastructure posed by citing a facility storing EO near a civilian shipping lane and surrounding urban infrastructure. The second case study focuses on analysing the consequence of an incident involving an EO facility cited near living accommodation which is within the stand-off distances as stipulated by QD rules. Information will be presented on the methods used to estimate debris throw, evaluate human injury as well as damage to surrounding infrastructure.

TT proposes that the ADF adopt a similar modelling and simulation-based risk assessment process to inform its risk assessments regarding EO and siting of facilities, in particular, when considering the impact of Warships in Harbour.

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Session 5A

The Status of International and National IM Policies across the Nations

Mrs Christelle Collet
Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC), Brussels, Belgium


The overarching NATO standard related to Insensitive Munitions (IM) is the well-known STANAG 4439 / AOP-39 "Policy for introduction and assessment of Insensitive Munitions (IM)". It is completed by a suite of IM-related standards: SRD AOP-39.1, AOP-4240, AOP-4241, AOP-4382, AOP-4396, AOP-4496 and AOP-4526. As the NATO IM-related standards are only prescriptive to a certain extent, the way the nations have implemented their own IM policy may vary from one nation to another.

The recent review that was conducted at MSIAC on this topic provides insight to national IM policies, and more specifically, of different implementation strategies, test requirements, and acceptance criteria. Munitions exempt from IM testing, as well as the relationship of IM programs with S3 qualification programs, have also been investigated.

After an overview of the IM policy in place for each nation, an analysis of the differences across policies is provided that highlights possible ways of improvement at a NATO level. This overview may also provide useful information to those nations that have not yet implemented their own IM policy.

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Comparison of IM Threats versus the Real World

Mrs Christelle Collet, et al.
Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC), Brussels, Belgium


Standardized aggressions that are applied to munitions to assess their Insensitive Munition (IM) signature include: Slow Heating (SH), Fast Heating (FH), Bullet Impact (BI), Fragment Impact (FI), Shaped Charge Jet Impact (SCJI) and Sympathetic Reaction (SR). The assessment of the IM signature of munitions and the test procedures related to these aggressions are detailed in the NATO suite of IM test documents: AOP-39, SRD AOP-39.1, AOP-4240, AOP-4382, AOP-4241, AOP-4496, AOP-4526 and AOP-4396.

The definition of the standardized aggressions and the first editions of these NATO standards date back to the 1990s and, since then, a huge number of IM tests have been performed in the IM community. The MSIAC database AIMS gathers IM test results from the literature and it currently contains over 4000 IM test results.

It is legitimate to wonder how representative are the current standardized IM threats compared to "real world" aggressions. This is especially the case with the emergence of high performance munition systems.

This presentation demonstrates the applicability of the six standardized aggressions (BI, FI, SH, FH, SCJI and SR) to other credible aggressions that may occur during the life cycle of munitions. By comparing the standardized energy loading provided to the munition in IM tests with the energy loading from other credible threats that may occur in the real world, it shows to what extent the standardized threats for IM can be considered conservative.

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Session 5B

Process Hazards Analysis for Explosive Ordinance

Mr Scott Genta, et al.
Safety Management Services, Inc. West Jordan, United States/NIOA Australia


This brief will discuss the "product" of proper Process Hazards Analysis (PHA) for Explosive Ordinance (EO) Manufacturing and Processing. The brief will include how to select the appropriate PHA methodology(s), various PHA techniques, and how to effectively lead a PHA team. The brief will cover the unique aspects of EO manufacturing and operations involving propellant, explosives, and pyrotechnic (PEP) materials.

The brief will address the tactics and success factors that help ensure a successful study. SMS and NIOA will include actual examples related to PHAs performed at the Benalla, Victoria facility. Process including recapitalization of the Cartridge 120mm M1028 Canister rounds and operations for the 84mm Illumination Round Refuzing operations, including explosive storage magazines and onsite transportation of explosives.

DSTG Static Rocket Motor Test Capability: Past, Present and Future

Dr Chad Prior
Defence Science And Technology Group


The Defence Science and Technology Group has a long history of undertaking static rocket motor testing for research and development of new propulsion systems and the introduction into service, sustainment and service life extension of ADF munitions. The criticality of this capability has been recognised through numerous high priority Defence activities including, assessment of increasing captive carriage hours of rocket motors to meet operational requirements, generating integrated system level rocket motor data that has been critical in informing re-introduction into service of suspect rocket motors, as well as numerous service life extension for ADF assets, including the Nulka active missile decoy.

Increasingly, this capability is being used to test rocket motor prototypes in a range of R&D programs, including the Advanced Rocket Motor Technology Development Program to assess performance, identify failure modes and to inform future research objectives. In addition, DSTG in conjunction with broader Defence, has significantly progressed the LA5 static test firing capability at the Woomera Test Area. The LA5 test site at Woomera now represents a 'trials ready' Defence capability that can be exercised in support of both larger scale rocket motor assurance and large scale rocket motor prototyping activities such as future stages of the ARMTD program.

A fully capable and robust static rocket motor testing capability will be critical in maturing and supporting the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance enterprise, various High Speed Weapons Programs and to support the introduction into service and sustainment of a growing munitions inventory. This presentation will summarise the current capability and the role it has played in supporting ADF capability and a vision for the future capability to meet the demand signals of high priority Defence programs.

Session 5C

Sensitivity of Munitions to Lightning Strikes; The Effect of Building Lay-out, Munition Stacking, Type of EED and Packaging Richard Bouma
The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)


The effect of lightning strikes on munition storage sites is being studied extensively by the Dutch MoD, DNV, and TNO, and comprises site reviews, risk assessments, modelling of storage sites and understanding of the link with munition sensitivity. This paper focuses on one specific part of the study; the munition sensitivity to electromagnetic effects of lightning strikes. The approach is physics based, and aims to model the electromagnetic field distribution in a magazine from a lightning strike attachment to the structure, the effect of packaging on the damping of the electromagnetic field, the electromagnetic coupling into the electro-explosive devices (EEDs) in a munition, in order to make a comparison to known EED initiation characteristics.

Examples are given of important aspects related to munition sensitivity.

The response of EEDs to an electric field, assumed proportional to the lightning strike current, was studied. It was found that the ignition is governed by the No-Fire Threshold (NFT) energy rather than the NFT power. The NFT energy is specific to each EED, which requires a worst-case approach, as a munition magazine should be able to receive a wide variety of munitions.

A 3-dimensional model was constructed for a storage magazine constructed with reinforced concrete, with rebar acting as natural lightning protection system (LPS). A comparison was made to a situation with an added external LPS (air-termination, masts as down-conductors, and earth termination), not being isolated from the storage magazine. A direct comparison of electric field strength is used for the assessment of flash-over probability. It was noted that the limiting electric field strength needed careful consideration. A further initiation route is the direct coupling of the electromagnetic field into an EED (i.e. without a flash-over from the wall). The EED initiation was related to its NFT energy and dimension, assuming a maximum coupling of the electromagnetic field.

Typically, a storage magazine is modelled as an empty structure. However, the high metallic content from munitions and packaging, will influence the electromagnetic field distribution inside a magazine. A specific 3-dimensional model was therefore made to study this effect. It was found that the ratio of electric field strength and magnetic field vector in the magazine does not equal the 377 Ohm impedance of air in the far field approach, and therefore limits the damping of the electromagnetic field by the ammunition boxes.

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Lightning Protection on a Munition Storage Compound – Methodology for Safety Risk Assessment

MSc. Hugo Dijkers, et al.
The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)


Munition storage structures are equipped with lightning protection systems in order to prevent accidental initiation of munition due to lightning flash strikes. The effect of lightning strikes on munition storage sites is being studied extensively by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, DNV, and TNO, and comprises site reviews, risk assessments, and numerical modelling of storage sites and munition sensitivity. This paper focuses on one specific part of the study; a methodology for a safety risk assessment (SRA) in order to assess the effectiveness and safety level of lightning protection measures on munition storage structures. The SRA-method is developed to assess the risks to a munition storage structure, wherein munition is present in case of lightning strike to or near the structure. Also, the SRA-method assesses the level of safety provided by and effectiveness of various lightning protection measures and lightning protection systems. The SRA-method is based on the industry standard NEN-EN-IEC 62305 and can assess a wide variety of scenario's and protection measures.

To perform an SRA, detailed information on the electromagnetic fields inside a munition structure is preferably available. These fields can be obtained using a Digital Twin (a numerical model of the electromagnetic behavior of a structure). The Digital Twin can be verified with measurements on the structures of interest. In addition to the electromagnetic fields, detailed models are also required to determine the munition sensitivity to electromagnetic effects of lightning strikes, in particular the electro-explosive device or fuse in the munition article. By combining the quantitative results of the Digital Twin and the models for munition sensitivity, it can be determined what the probability of initiation of a particular munition article in a specified storage structure is. This probability is used in an SRA, and combined with other factors based on the NEN-EN-IEC 62305, to determine the resulting risk levels. If quantitative data is not available or not possible to obtain, the SRA-method also allows for a qualitative assessment of the risks.

The SRA-method assesses two types of risk: risk of loss of human life (i.e. people present inside the structure) and risk of economic loss (i.e. loss of munitions and damage to the structure). For loss of human life, the risk is expressed as probability of lethality per year (individual risk). For economic loss, a qualitative risk matrix is used for the assessment. The SRA-method allows to assess the risks from a lightning strike on or near a munition storage structure. It also allows to determine which lightning protection systems and lightning protection measures are deemed effective.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence is acknowledged for financial support. DNV is acknowledged for detailed insights into the lightning protection standards and fruitful discussions.

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Session 6B

Research with Explosives at the University of Adelaide

Mr Thomas de Prinse, et al.
Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, University of Adelaide


The university sector has a lot to offer in regard to conducting fundamental research on energetic materials. Projects can be undertaken on underlying properties of materials or on the development of low technology readiness level (TRL) techniques, without a 'fast-fail' mentality. These explorations, if they show potential, can then be further developed towards applications by the partnering industry or government funding body. Universities, especially PhD students, are excellent drivers of research at the TRL 1-4 level, and this can extend to energetic materials in Australia. However, due consideration for safety, security and training for this work is needed.

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Quality Control in M-CMOPI Small Arms EPVAT Testing

Mr Lewis Quill
Joint Proof And Experimental Unit


This paper outlines EPVAT conducted by JPEU in accordance with the M-CMOPI and details how ISO 17025 has influenced test processes. EPVAT testing involves a complex system of components; managing these components is critical for a quality test outcome. ISO 17025 provides opportunities to perform analysis on EPVAT data to ensure validity while also functioning as a framework for managing test processes and procedures. JPEU uses ISO 17025 as a primary method of managing EPVAT testing to remarkable success.

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Session 6C

Developments in Assessing Occupational Noise Exposure and Hearing Damage Risk from Sources of Impulsive Noise and Ototoxic Chemicals

Dr Peter Teague, et al.
Vipac Engineers & Scientists Ltd & Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Mr Martin Jennings
Department of Defence


High energy impulsive noise from sources of explosive ordnance (EO) and weapons is a significant occupational noise hazard in the military. The quantification and assessment of the resultant hearing impact can involve high levels of uncertainty. There are issues associated with the accurate measurement and prediction of impulsive noise events due to the rapid onset-rates, millisecond durations, high peak overpressures and the non-linear acoustic behavior in the near-field of the source. Ototoxic substances in the workplace (including a wide range of solvents, VOCs, asphyxiants, and metals; for example, from EO combustion products) can cause chemically‐induced hearing loss as well as an additive and synergistic impact in combination with noise ('co-exposure'), which can lead to greater hearing loss than would be experienced from noise alone.

Determining the impact on hearing is further limited by the current tools available for quantifying and assessing the actual noise exposure/dose, auditory injury risk and the likelihood of irreversible hearing damage. This paper provides updated insight to the latest developments in the measurement, prediction and assessment of impulsive noise exposure and resultant hearing damage risk. The relevant exposure standards and guidelines are reviewed (eg. MIL-STD-1474E), along with recent updates in the field. An overview is provided on measurement and prediction methods, relevant noise metrics, models of impulsive noise exposure, hearing damage mechanisms and complex ototoxic interactions. The validity of various exposure metrics, damage risk criteria and hearing models is evaluated and discussed.

The paper is illustrated with real-world examples of the measurement and estimation of noise exposure from a sample of high energy impulsive sources, including large calibre military weapons, and the potential synergistic impact of the ototoxic chemicals released. Effective noise controls and hearing protection measures for the mitigation of high intensity impulse noise and ototoxic chemicals are discussed. We demonstrate the need for developing appropriate EO exposure standards and protection measures for application to military workplaces to minimize potential severe injury risk to workers' hearing.

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Exposure to Emissions From Small Arms Munitions

Ms Serena Cherian
Directorate of Engineering, EMB/QinetiQ

Mr Martin Jennings
Department of Defence


Concerns have been raised about health effects from exposure to combustion products from small arms ammunition (SAA). Reports in the literature refer to a range of acute symptoms experienced by weapons users; these include sore eyes and throat, cough, respiratory distress, nausea and headache during and after firing exercises.

Tests have been done to characterise and quantify SAA combustion products. These includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene; metals such as lead and copper, and, gases including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen and sulphur dioxide.

A common gas in the fumes is carbon monoxide (CO). Exposure to CO leads to increased levels of carboxy-haemoglobin in the blood of the exposed shooters; CO poisoning may lead to headaches and significantly decrease judgment and performance. These effects not only affect the health, but can also impact on the effectiveness of the war-fighter and potentially reduce capability.

Chronic effects of exposure to combustion products, other than CO, are less well documented. Substances such as benzene, may be carcinogenic, while lead can have neurotoxic or reproductive toxic effects. Even lead free ammunition is not as safe as the name would suggest. In addition, literature has also reported the impact of ultrafine particles (<100 nm) being a possible cause of persistent health effects present in exposed personnel.

The selection of an appropriate exposure standard (ES) is another matter for consideration. Conventional exposure standards are designed for industrial workforces and industrial work environments. Exposure standards more relevant to military applications should be applied.

EMB has a role in ensuring Defence discharges its duty of care obligations regarding health hazards from explosive ordnance (EO) materiel. This includes current and future ADF SAA inventory items used by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel. This paper describes a test program for the quantification of small arms ammunition (SAA) combustion products, to build on previous work conducted within Defence.

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Session 7A

Resonant Acoustic Mixing of Composite Propellant

Dr Nathan Stanley
Defence Science and Technology Group / YTEK Pty Ltd


Planetary action mixing, the traditional mainstay of solid composite propellant manufacturing is reaching a ceiling in terms of solids loading for novel formulations with improved performance. Intensive study of resonant acoustic mixing (RAM) places this new technology as a prime candidate for scale up into industrial rocket motor manufacturing, offering on-par ballistic performance and improved mechanical properties, while significantly lowering production time and labour input. To achieve this, it must be certain that ballistic and mechanical properties identical to planetary mixing can be reliably and repeatably obtained with RAM. Towards this goal, work is being undertaken to replicate the mechanical properties of planetary action-mixed formulations with RAM. Our aim is to develop a practical understanding of the interplay between mechanical properties and formulation for RAM. To this end, a standard baseline propellant formulation was mixed by RAM and isotropic tensile mechanical properties of the cured material compared with conventional planetary action mixes. Contrary to expectations, RAM-mixed propellant exhibited a 44% increase in strain at break capability compared to an identical planetary action mix, with a concomitant 21% decrease in maximum tensile stress. Data will be presented as a basis to explain the observed differences in mechanical properties, along with a proposed macromolecular-level theory of the underlying mechanism. Strategies to shift the mechanical properties to better align with conventional planetary mixes will be discussed.

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Evaluation of Properties of Solid Rocket Propellant Using Strain Evaluation Cylinder Methodology, for Use in Finite Element Analysis of Rocket Motors

Mr Joel Huff & Mr J Anglberger
Defence Science and Technology Group


Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has become an essential tool for the design of new types of rocket motors. It enables prediction of loads within the various components of a motor design under a range of simulated conditions.

Of particular concern is determining the stress and strain observed in solid propellant, as damage to the propellant can cause catastrophic failure on ignition. Obtaining meaningful FEA results requires input of material properties that can only be determined experimentally, which in the case of solid propellant rocket motors is not straightforward due to complex material behaviour. The strain free temperature of the solid propellant is one material property that is vital but challenging to measure.

A case study is presented where the strain-free temperature and Poisson's ratio for a developmental solid rocket propellant formulation were determined – to a limited precision - via a Strain Evaluation Cylinder experiment. The minimum, maximum and mean values for these properties were then used as inputs for an FEA of an experimental boost motor design. The results reported here highlight the need for accurate measurement techniques for the determination of propellant properties such as strain-free-temperature and Poisson's ratio.

Engineering Assessments and Their Dependence on Test and Evaluation

Mr Mark Ashcroff
Directorate of Engineering, EMB/QinetiQ


A robust Engineering Assessment is needed to assure Defence that Explosive Ordnance (EO) is Safe and Suitable for Service (S3). This process requires an accurate and thorough assessment of all identified failure modes to adequately assess the risk profile across the lifecycle. Potential sources of failure are identified through detailed knowledge of the design, consideration of the Manufacture to Target or Disposal Sequence (MTDS), associated environmental exposure, effect of material deterioration, development of defects and the consequence to capability in terms of safety and performance. The identified risks of failure modes being realised are mitigated by engineering approaches So Far As Reasonability Practicable with Objective Quality Evidence (OQE) at the fore. The conduct of an in-country Test and Evaluation (T&E) program is one such risk mitigation exercise.

In Australia, evidence to support S3 assessments is often obtained through the evaluation of data from other nations or overseas Original Equipment Manufacturers. Assurance in the data, on which safety advice is established, is achieved through development of strong international relationships, a level of insight into test processes applied and detail of technical data provided. To achieve the greatest level of assurance the conduct of testing in-country is necessary. A domestic test program allows the conduct of testing that is specifically tailored to Defence requirements. This not only results in the availability of a complete data set, but follow on or repeat testing can be quickly conducted as required. The need for in-country T&E is critical to underpin the S3 nature of existing overseas Military Off-The-Shelf equipment plans. The importance of T&E is elevated further with a ramp-up in Australian manufacture and magnitude of production independence.

This paper discusses how EMB Engineering use T&E to inform Engineering Assessments, how different parts of the Defence Enterprise are effectively exercised and options that can be utilised to obtain OQE. Examples are provided across the lifecycle to demonstrate the work delivered in-country.

The utilisation of T&E at every aspect of the lifecycle puts a significant burden on the T&E Enterprise as a whole. The requirements placed on these parts of Defence are set to grow with an increased drive to manufacture more domestically. There is a need to look more broadly at how EO is certified S3, with research themes such as smart qualification, digital twins and threads being common subjects of activity across many nations. This means looking to see how allied nations are doing business, while at the same time developing our own capabilities domestically. The EO Enterprise has a vested interest to build upon existing T&E capability, in parallel to all manufacturing efforts, to assure the S3 nature of that materiel.

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Session 7B

Reducing Negligent Discharges: A Novel Approach - From Idea to Prototype

FLTLT Nick Fraser

WOFF J Reinertsen


Negligent Discharges (NDs) continue to present a significant safety issue for the ADF. There have been 696 NDs reported in SENTINEL from 2000 – 2021 while using the F88 Steyr. Ball rounds accounted for 114 of the reported NDs. The 'Buddy System' was introduced in 2007 to reduce the number of NDs. Since its introduction, it has had no discernible effect on reducing NDs. This may be due to the 'Buddy System' not directly addressing the question of, 'Why do operators carry out incorrect weapon handling drills that result in NDs?' An interesting answer to this question may be found in the analysis of NDs between Sep 1999 and Sep 2001 during the ADF deployment to East Timor.

During this deployment, there were 78 ball round NDs reported with 60% of the NDs occurring in the first 21% of the deployment. A similar distribution of ADF NDs occurred during the first year of the Vietnam War with almost 50% of NDs occurring within the first three months. Therefore, it seems that NDs are more likely to occur when members are least familiar with loaded weapons and the environment in which they are handling them. Following on from this, one recommendation for reducing the number of NDs during deployments was to issue blank ammunition to personnel during pre-deployment training to allow them to begin their familiarisation with handling loaded weapons as soon as possible. This would allow members to have their NDs before they get into their area of operations with live ammunition. While this recommendation may eliminate some risks, blank ammunition NDs still present safety hazards including: noise, combustion gasses and the ejection of propellant and wadding. In order to eliminate risks to health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable, the Audio Feedback Training Round (AFTR) was invented.

The Audio Feedback Training Round (AFTR) could be used during pre-deployment and initial training to familiarise members with carrying a loaded weapon without any safety risk. The AFTR is a training round which provides immediate feedback to operators in the event of an ND. Electronic feedback occurs in the form of audible and visual indication that the weapon was fired with an AFTR in the chamber. Once activated, the AFTR can be reset by authorised personnel via a mobile phone APP.

This presentation will describe the innovation of the AFTR from idea to prototype.

I Don't Care About Your Risk Matrix: Reducing Risks SFARP

SQNLDR Joel McGrath
Directorate Of Ordnance Safety


This in-person presentation is aimed at communicating the requirement for eliminating or reducing risks SFARP that are associated with explosives activities within the Australian Defence context.

The intentionally provocative title is aimed to have the audience consider the contrast between the historic approach of residual risks (either for safety or technical aspects) and the current requirements under Australian WHS legislation. The historic approach of residual risk acceptance involved identifying an "acceptable" limit, and determining whether the assessed risk was above or below that limit (noting the "historic" method may still be current in other nations). However, since the introduction of Australian WHS legislation and the requirement to eliminate risks So Far As is Reasonably Practicable (SFARP), or if they can't be eliminated, then minimised SFARP, the approach of undertaking a risk assessment to reach an "acceptable limit" is no longer appropriate.

The continued consideration of controls or methods to eliminate or reduce risks is now necessary – not only from a legal perspective, but also in normalising the approach of reducing risks and justifying what is considered "eliminated or reduced SFARP" for an activity. Ongoing consideration of controls (even if a risk is already low!) is ultimately seeking to keep people safe and should be incorporated into the norm of conducting explosives activities, especially as WHS legislation is now over a decade old!

Under historic approaches, acceptable levels of risk could vary between organisations and also between personalities that were either assessing or accepting the risk. The provision of a specific risk level to aim for in order for an activity to progress (or not!) could also influence the outcome of an assessment without needing to consider additional controls that may provide a tangible reduction in risk.

This presentation seeks to briefly describe why the "old" method of acceptable risk levels is no longer acceptable, and describe the underpinning requirements for the "new" method of eliminating/reducing SFARP. An outline of how the Explosive Safety Regulatory Framework within Defence defines the requirements for risk assessments within the context of explosives activities (i.e. aspects of the safety principles) will also contextualise the presentation. Further content detailing a generic approach and process for a risk assessment of an explosives activity will help ground concepts and identify key aspects such as:
• Identifying the executive authority, stakeholders and/or impacted parties
o Who's making the decision – especially if stakeholders or SMEs disagree?
• Consideration of "big picture" controls (i.e. time/space de-conflictions, conducting an activity "by parts")
o Is there a limit to the scope of controls to be considered?
• Justification of why controls are/not being implemented
o Is sticking to the pre-existing controls enough?
• How should all this be communicated?!

This presentation is also intended to complement an additional proposed panel discussion on "EO risk management within operational decision making".

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Utility of Quantitative Risk Assessment and Modelling for Explosives Safety

SQNLDR Michael Netherton
Directorate of Ordnance Safety

GPCAPT Matthew Grant
Director, Ordnance Safety


There are many Explosive Ordnance storage scenarios that would not "pass-muster" from a regulatory (safety) perspective; however, when considered via a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) paradigm these exact same scenarios might meet a decision maker's criteria? One could suggest that – in some circumstances – physics can trump conventions?

This presentation explores the difference between regulatory and QRA regimes. We present case studies from each perspective highlighting the strengths of each treatment, whilst also discussing how regulations might stifle reality or how a QRA might be poorly formulated.

Ultimately, we argue that context is key when it comes to risk-based modelling; in that, explosives safety must be considered holistically, that risk cannot be managed effectively without both consequence and likelihood controls. Further, from a regulatory perspective, consequence controls are important as they reduce the variability in outcomes associated with any incident; however, this is not something that likelihood controls alone can achieve.

Session 7C

Explosives Act Thematic Review – Proposing an Outcomes and Principle-Focused Explosives Safety and Security Legislative Framework

CAPT Jacqui King, RAN
Executive Director EATR Task Force, Defence - Joint Logistics Command

Mr Philip Jones-Hope & Mrs Jennifer Wilson


Defence is currently undertaking a review of the Explosives Act 1961 (Cth), and its subordinate regulations (Explosives Transport Regulations 2002 and Explosives Areas Regulations 2003) on behalf of the Australian Government. In this technical session the Explosives Act Thematic Review Task Force will build on the day 3 keynote presentation.

The presentation will focus on the remaking of the regulations for transport of explosives by road and rail including classification and authorising of Commonwealth explosives. The introduction of regulations for storage of Commonwealth explosives will also be outlined.

In parallel to the legislation reform a review has been occurring of the current Defence explosives safety and security enterprise policies including roles and functions, and governance and assurance arrangements determining the changes needed to support Defence respond to the introduction of the proposed new Commonwealth Explosives legislation framework.

An overview will be provided of a proposed future state design that will position Defence with an enterprise governance and assurance system for explosives safety and security that will proactively enables Defence to make risk informed decisions while complying with the requirements of the legislation while enabling the GWEO enterprise and the operational outcomes of the ADF.

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EO Storage and Handling – Leading Edge Approaches to Safety

Mr Imran Shaik
Acor Consultants


Explosive Ordnance (EO) is, by its name and nature, "explosive". When handled or utilised incorrectly, or by manufacturing defect, explosives can become unsafe or unreliable and result in an incident, which sadly can claim lives or result in serious injury. This can occur at any point during the EO life cycle and it is essential that all incidents are appropriately reported, investigated and managed in order to determine root causes and prevent recurrences.

Like fuel, EO should be stored in a safe place, designated for that purpose, so as to minimise the risk of injury, to life and property in the event of an explosion or fire, and also to prevent any deterioration. In recent years, the Australian Defence Organisation has invested heavily in in making their workplaces safer, particularly around fuel. With the anticipated expansion of EO capability and inventory, there will clearly need to be a focus on safety. But how do you know if you have an effective safety management system? How do you know if you have established explosive ordnance safety principles and policies for use by all elements of the Australian Defence Organisation?

In this Paper, we will share our experience in applying safety principles into the Defence Fuel Management System (DFMS) Element 4 across fuel facilities around Australia, and how that applies to implementing the Defence Explosive Ordnance Publication 101 (eDEOP101).

In particular, this paper will explore the following key elements of a safety management system for explosive ordnance storage.

Session 8A

Rethinking Munition Stockpile for Sustainability

Ben Tan Hwa Heng & Tan Chow Tat
Singapore Armed Forces

Koh Eng Kah
Defence Science and Technology Agency


The notion of "going green for Munition Stockpile" is a paradox due to the destructive nature of explosives. One can stockpile less munition at the first instance, but national security takes precedence. As such, waste is a prevalent issue for all military forces in the world using conventional stockpiling approach because it is almost impossible to create a perfect system to utilise munition before its shelf life expires. There are many downstream issues of disposing life expired munition including high disposal cost and most importantly, environmental concerns.

With that in mind, the authors developed a framework consisting of policies and strategies to change the approach of munition stockpiling to make it more sustainable beyond cost effectiveness. These include (1) making engineering changes to the munition design and reshaping production capability, (2) adopting circular economy to reduce waste, and (3) transforming the entire ecosystem together with defence partners. The initial implementation till date has proven that the framework reduces unnecessary waste, making munition manufacturing and stockpile management more sustainable from both fiscal and environmental aspects.

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Considerations for Accelerated Domestic Manufacture and Rapid Prototyping of Explosive Ordnance

MAJ Roger Brinkworth
Directorate of Ordnance Safety


Safety and Suitability for Service (S3) by certification is the Australian Defence's method of understanding and assuring essential explosive safety factors for all ordnance. Exercising the S3 process enables Defence engineers to develop a comprehensive safety argument within the bounds of Defence's safety management system. However, arriving at such conclusions involves deliberate and planned analysis of objective quality evidence that is obtained from accredited sources. Often this has proven to be a time and resource intensive endeavour often taking years for the S3 process to be fully developed for ordnance to be introduction into service. This process is innately tied to careful configuration management for design integrity and project management for scope, cost and schedule considerations.

Defence's S3 process is important across the Capability Lifecycle, including the Concept and Development phase, yet it also needs to be applied during rapid material development in instances of urgent operational requirements. This challenge is the focus of this paper: how does Australian Defence accelerate the S3 process for cost and schedule reasons, without compromising safety? This paper provides considerations for accelerating the S3 process to support rapid prototyping and domestic manufacturing of explosive ordnance across three key areas. First, by defining the scope, context and risk acceptance mediums of the safety argument for rapidly developed EO. Second, the ability, skillset and capacity of Defence's current workforce to support domestic rapid prototyping and acquisition. Finally, rationalisation of test and evaluation requirements will provide costs and schedule efficiencies without discounting critical safety outcomes

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Session 8B

Digitisation of Explosives Transport Documents for ADF EO Logistics

Mr Dennis Nothdurft
Thales EO Services


Commonwealth Explosives Transport Regulations and the Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail require those who are transporting Commonwealth explosives to describe the explosives on a transport document, commonly known as a Shippers Declaration. The regulations require the transport document to be in hard copy, so that emergency responders can easily access critical information about the nature of a load in the event of an accident involving the cargo vehicle. A Shippers Declaration must detail a range of dangerous goods data, gross mass, package types, and package quantities for each dangerous good being transported. For each consignment, it must also show the consignment gross mass and the aggregate NEQ. The wide variety of products in Defence EO consignments means that manually producing Shippers Declarations using traditional pdf or hardcopy forms is a complex and time-consuming task, which is highly prone to error. It is especially challenging for EO returns from ADF units in the field. Manually producing Shippers Declarations for large exercise returns can take even an experienced person an entire day. There is a need to strengthen existing administrative controls to ensure the safe transport of mixed loads of EO and reduce the likelihood of near misses and non-compliances. To reduce processing times and improve compliance, Thales has developed and deployed an Industry 4.0 digital system that uses Tablet PCs, portable printers and a custom Android application to produce Shippers Declarations in the field. This work involved analysing and selecting candidate hardware against practical operating requirements (eg, durability, startup time, battery life, screen brightness). The devices were also assessed against ADF EO electrical characteristics to ensure RADHAZ to Ordnance risk was reduced SFARP. The new custom application was required to generate Shippers Declarations and identify segregation requirements. An analysis of the requirements of four separate sets of applicable dangerous goods transport regulations was conducted, to ensure that the requirements for transporting all types of dangerous goods in the ADF inventory were correctly understood. The result of this analysis were then incorporated into software using Agile software development methodology, whereby the results of a range of different mixed loads were tested and used to adjust the design of the system in order to ensure compliance with regulations in all scenarios. Field trials were conducted by EO Depots Stirling and Orchard Hills, to ensure that user experience is at the forefront of the system's design. The deployed Version 1 of the Shippers Dec App incorporates a range of compatibility mixing rules to enable users to determine how to manage consignments made up of a variety of EO types, so that they can be safely transported on public roads. The system automatically calculates the aggregated Hazard Classification Code and NEQ of each vehicle's load using ADF EO catalogue data, and includes features to prevent breaches of explosives safety transport controls, such as vehicle signage notifications.

An Overview of Potential Strategies for the Derivation of RF Susceptibility Data for Electrically Initiated Explosive Ordnance

Mr Thinus Neethling & Mr Kenneth Stowe
Directorate of Engineering EMB/QinetiQ


The conduct of formal Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO) testing IAW MIL-STD-464C/D and per the guidelines of MIL-HDBK-240A arguably sets the 'gold standard' for deriving the RF susceptibility data for electrically initiated EO items.

This session provides an interesting overview of HERO testing and all that it entails, but also highlights the other potential strategies that may be followed to derive RF susceptibility data for electrically initiated EO items (i.e. those items containing installed electro-explosive devices).

Focus will be placed on Susceptibility RADHAZ Designator (SRAD) Codes, use of Compliance Statements, use of simulations e.g. Electromagnetic Analysis Software and application-specific RADHAZ to Ordnance testing, to mention but a few.

Session 8C

Explosives Transport Risk Assessment Methodology

Mr Choon Keat Lee, et al.
Defence Science and Technology Agency, Singapore/Singapore Armed Forces Ammunition Command


The transport of explosives on roads presents explosion risk to public, due to the proximity of the surrounding infrastructure in Singapore's urban environment. Although the authority and operators exercised qualitative risk analysis to minimize the probability of an accidental explosion, the consequences of an accidental explosion are not quantified and considered in the planning of explosives route and quantity. Therefore, the authors developed a method to assess the transport risks and conducted a preliminary risk assessment, that used simplified estimates on affected population along the public road. However, the risk results are overly conservative. As a result, the authors explored the use of Geographic information system (GIS) which has a higher resolution of the urban population data to assess the affected population along the transport route. Preliminary efforts have shown that the public risk assessed using the GIS could be one order of magnitude lower than the risk assessed from simplified population estimate. This will enable the decision makers to make more informed risk decision when deciding the explosives transport routes and quantities.

EO risk management within operational decision making

SQNLDR Joel McGrath
Directorate of Ordnance Safety


The introduction of WHS legislation in 2011 brought with it the requirement for risks to be eliminated So Far As is Reasonably Practicable (SFARP), or if unable to be eliminated, reduced SFARP. Though this requirement has been around for over a decade, there are still aspects in which Defence is refining its practical implementation.

One such aspect is that of explosives activities, where there is an additional complication of having to consider the unique role Defence plays. In seeking to utilise explosives that are intentionally designed to cause damage or destruction, how does Defence ensure its state of readiness to respond to a threat whilst undertaking realistic training in the safest manner possible?

In order to try and examine the issue of undertaking explosives activities that arise for Defence to maintain its ability to Shape, Deter and Respond, a discussion panel of those responsible for differing aspects within Defence is planned. The discussion panel is envisioned to consist of representatives from the following areas within Defence:
- Legal – understanding the concept of SFARP from a legal perspective within the Defence context can be influenced by other factors when compared to other contexts
- Operational – a member responsible for making decisions within an operational context will have varied and often changing considerations over the duration of a deployment or exercise
- Safety – the provision of regulations that enable explosives activities to occur for operational requirements that also satisfy WHS requirements is a necessity to ensure safety.

The discussion will initially be steered by the chair to have panel members provide their opinions on how to make operational decisions that are SFARP, with a short amount of time to follow for questions from the floor.

This discussion panel is also intended to complement an additional proposed presentation on "I don't care about your risk matrix", about the general concept of eliminating and reducing risks SFARP.

In Reserve

Military Training, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance (MILTECS) Facility

Mr Dean Beaumont


To assist in rapidly maturing sovereign concepts through the Technology Readiness Levels, EPE has built Military Training, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance (MILTECS) facilities in Southeast Queensland, comprising a test laboratory, and proving grounds. EPE provides access to these MILTECS facilities, aiming to deliver operators, prime vendors, and industry, suitable and accessible Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) validation, testing, and training facilities within Australia. This enables the ability to test and validate new and emerging capabilities and generate the required Objective Quality Evidence (OQE) for equipment end users.

EPE's most recent addition to its commitment to build national improvised threat detection, mitigation, and exploration facilities, is at Helidon, Southeast Queensland. The centre spans across approximately four hectares and is co-located near Rocket Test Industries (RTI) at Helidon quarry, approximately one hour's drive from Brisbane or fifteen minutes from Toowoomba. The site is designed to test and validate Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) disruptors and Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD) tools and to assist in the development of enhanced Render Safe Procedures (RSP ). It provides a safe and unparalleled facility for product development and validation as well as improving operator technical skills.

MILTECS Helidon has been designed and constructed as an operational facility, providing users with firing lanes as well as an omni directional pit. Three lanes are constructed of reinforced concrete but overlayed with spaced rubber matting to ensure a fragment free environment. The omni directional pit has a 360-degree safety trace and has been excavated to below general ground level and is walled by solid sandstone. It provides a perfect forensic capture area with the ability to house a vehicle, shipping container or any medium sized target. A specifically engineered firing point, created with thick reinforced concrete blocks has been placed strategically in close proximity to the firing lanes and omni directional pit, allowing the firer full protection from blast and fragmentation. The range houses an explosive and detonator magazine and has provision for on-site disruptor and ammunition storage. Additionally, the facility is approved for live demonstrations of up to five kilograms of explosives. A site-specific safety trace has been calculated and in conjunction with the quarry and RTI trace, provides a safe environment for all users.

A common-sense approach, backed by Resources Safety and Health, Queensland (RSHQ) advice, and a highly skilled team has allowed EPE to create an effective set of Standard Operating Procedures that allows users with little or no experience, a safe and controlled space for the conduct of their range practice.

Through regular interaction with the Explosives Inspectorate from RSHQ and with adherence to an existing quarry safety overlay, as well as functional understanding of RTI requirements, EPE aims to provide a regional hub, test and evaluation, verification, and validation, that can be accessed by whole of government organisations to optimise domestic skills enhancement and capacity building throughout the region. The training facilities can also be used by neighbouring nations as a venue to develop their capabilities.

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BLU Domestic Manufacturing - Part V Advanced Captive Carriage Vibration Rig

FLGOFF Nathan Widdup et al.
Aerospace Explosive Ordnance Systems Program Office/JPEU/QinetiQ


The Joint Proof and Experimental Unit (JPEU) as Defence's primary T&E facility on EO has been requested to undertake Captive Carriage testing on a suite of domestically manufactured weapons for carriage on Air Force platforms. This capability that existed within the Defence realm over 30 years ago, through Defence restructures has evolved with a primary focus on storage and transport (S&T) testing in support of safety and suitability for service. Attempts to replicate the captive carriage environment utilising the current single large S&T combination vibration exciter has proved insufficient in supporting this vital program. Lessons learnt for JPEU with support from DSTG, is reinvigorating technical knowledge in shaker test configurations and effects within the test bandwidth, excitation response control vs base control, concurrent temperature and vibration testing and the effects on accelerometer mounting and performance. With larger items on the horizon for S&T, JPEU is finalising the building of a larger more capable vibration test facility utilising two large S&T modular vibration systems operating in tandem providing more flexible test setups and increased capability in displacement and force, however with the same inherent flaws as the current system these remain insufficient for captive carriage testing. Operation of these systems requires JPEU to acquire the knowledge and skills for multiple vibration exciter configurations, including the use of stinger bars. The new building design will be acritical enabler for future requirements including the proposed multiple input multiple output vibration capability for captive carriage testing currently under development by AEOPSO and QinetiQ.

To address current captive carriage test capability gaps in support of AEOSPO weapon S3 programs, QinetiQ are designing an 'Advance Captive Carriage Weapon Test System' (ACCWTS). The ACCWTS consists of numerous subsystems and various test capability improvements. It aims to enable more representative vibration and shock testing of AUS GPBs through improvements made to weapon carriage simulation and how the weapon is excited. This is achieved via a new test rig designed to yield more representative internal/external weapon carriage scenarios. It also includes multiple shaker systems controlled independently via MIMO control techniques to better simulate in-flight vibration/shock of the weapon in each of three translational axes. Finally, a thermal chamber capable of simulating ADF operational temperature extremes will be integrated to support combined thermal and vibration/shock testing. In summary, the ACCWTS will provide the ADF with a world-class captive carriage test capability which, with existing S&T capabilities, can be used to certify international and/or domestically manufactured weapons to meet ADF S3 certification needs, improve EO safety and optimise weapon use and sustainment.

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BLU Domestic Manufacturing - Part I BLU Program Overview

FLGOFF Nathan Widdup & FLTLT Buren Altantsetseg
Aerospace Explosive Ordnance Systems Program Office


The first of the AEOSPO series of presentations in collaboration with key partners with the broad theme of BLU Domestic Manufacturing. The underlying intent of the presentation series is to showcase the collective efforts into the 'Australian Manufacturing' of the BLU series aircraft bombs. BLU-126(AUS)/B is a low collateral 500lb class warhead, BLU-111(AUS)B/B is a full 500lb class warhead and BLU-117(AUS)B/B is a full 2000lb class warhead. These are domestically manufactured variants of the US BLU-126/B, BLU-111B/B and BLU-117B/B aircraft bombs.

Part 1 presentation acts as the introduction to the five part presentation series and an overview of the BLU Domestic Manufacturing program. This presentation details the background and historical significance of domestically manufacturing aircraft warheads in Australia. Brief description of the bomb types with designs are outlined. To improve presentation series content flow and readability, broad lifecycle sequence indicator is introduced and each part will have an indicator on the top right corner.

FLGOFF Nathan Widdup will then present on the Joint Strike Fighter and Air Force capability perspective. This discussion will involve the introduction into service process and how the domestic bombs enter service from a certification standpoint. He will discuss the project milestones, certification process and the roadmap and T&E/certification strategy moving forward.

FLTLT Buren Altantsetseg will then present on the extant ADF Test and Evaluation capability perspective. Overview of the BLU lifecycle and why it needs to be tested prior to introduction. Top level observations on the impost to the current T&E capability and resources. How the Sequential Environmental Testing and Arena Trials have progressed so far. How the main ADF explosive test agency, JPEU supported AEOSPO and the Air Force. Questions are posed to explore the benefits of JPEU falling under the newly established GWEO division and what it would mean going forward for Sovereign Manufacturing.

AASTP-1 Q-D Companion Application for Apple Mobile Devices

WGCDR Gary Gibbs
Directorate of Ordnance Safety


This paper presents an overview of a locally developed mobile Quantity-Distance (Q-D) companion application for the Apple iPhone. The application is a DOS initiative to complement existing tools available to assist those individuals involved Q-D activities using the latest released of NATO Manual AASTP-1, Edition C/D.

The paper covers the key functional objective assigned during development phase and provides an example scenario that demonstrates the difference between manually conducting a QD assessment compared with that using the application. In concluding, the paper briefly covers opportunities for future improvements to enhance the application's functionality and usefulness to users.

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Antistatic - a rose by any other name ...

Mr Dale Peterson
Bondline Static Control Solutions Pty Ltd


Static (Electrostatic) Control. An overview of generating, controlling, and preventing static in a workshop environment. Address some problems caused by static electricity.
Broadly speaking, the world of static is often misunderstood, underestimated, and unfortunately sometimes overlooked.
The static shock that one feels when getting out of a car or reaching out to a metal door handle is an electrostatic discharge (ESD) event, which is essentially the same ESD that:
 Damages electronic components
 Locks up microprocessors
 Starts a fire
 Causes an explosion
The only differences are the method of generation and its magnitude.
The Workshop will, with the aid of a live graph, PPT and hands-on practical demonstrations, explore various methods of:
 Generating/inducing a static charge onto personnel, ESDS Device, equipment, etc.
 Controlling/preventing a static charge
o Common methods of grounding
 Grounding of personnel
 Grounding of equipment
 Why "touch-plates" are not enough
 Why groundable flooring should be part of a system
o Choice of materials
During the Workshop, we can experiment with grounding equipment and materials, producing a live graph of static generation and dissipation.


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