Integrated Retalliatory System for Anti-Terrorism (IRS) in the areas of Survivability and Denial & Attribution and Retaliatiion

Period of Performance: 04/21/2003 - 10/21/2003

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Schappell Automation Corp., Inc.
12363 West Belleview Avenue
Littleton, CO 80127
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This project will result in the design and demonstration of a totally unique and versatile multi-barrel 'pod' weapon system, capable of combining a multiplicity of capabilities for both offensive and defensive measures. In addition, both lethal and less-than lethal munitions will be able to be fired from the same weapon, which can protect from a variety of threats, including human from pier side, waterborne, such as swift craft and mines, and airborne, both aircraft as well as missiles. These attributes are possible due to the re-configurable multi-barrel, Metal Storm system. For the first time, the user will have an extremely rapid fire sequential and/or concurrent capability, and instantaneously selectable munitions types. Other attributes are reduced weight due to the composite barrels, electric non-mechanical firing, no moving parts, computer control, and the Metal Storm 'pod' that can provide varied calibers and types of munitions in one weapon, handheld or mounted (shipboard, aircraft or vehicle/robot.) The Metal Storm concept will provide the user with an optimized munitions "launcher" for Asymmetric Warfare applications. The work accomplished to date has resulted in several successful concept feasibility demonstrations, but has not validated the total weapons system implementation concept which is the subject of this proposal. Metal Storm technology provides for a system whereby the following characteristics advantageous to Asymmetric Warfare can be exhibited by a single weapon. These features are enumerated for either/or lethal and non-lethal situations, as well as offensive and defensive requirements: -Munitions can be delivered with a KE or Muzzle Velocity (MV) automatically calculated using real-time range to target information. -One compact weapon can house various calibers and types of munitions, whether the system is handheld or mounted. -For the first time, a user can choose from a variety of instantaneously selectable munitions and deliver these munitions at a user defined rate, continuously variable from a single shot to an extremely rapid rate of fire, sequentially and/or concurrently. -The system is modular and can be `lego' pieced together to match the requirements of each individual mission. -The system can be easily integrated into vehicles, robots, and other platforms. -Inherent attributes of the Metal Storm system include electric non-mechanical firing, no moving parts and computer control (a single `chip' can control the entire system). -A more general advantage is that the system is very inexpensive when compared to the other options that would be required to achieve the same result. The less-than-lethal Metal Storm Weapon will be based on the ability to provide on-target non-lethal munitions as a function of range due to the multiple barrels with different charges for the ranges of interest. The lethal weapon will have the distinct advantage of firing an array of projectiles without requiring precision pointing and tracking in a heavy sea state where the small target is in erratic motion and the U.S. ship is heaving and rolling. In other words a defined area containing the target will be instantaneously saturated with munitions resulting in a high probability of destruction. This constitutes a situation where sequentially fired conventional weapons are often ineffective. On the other hand, the proposed Metal Storm weapon will be capable of firing a single shot or any pattern of multiple rounds required. Phase I development will result in a conceptual design of an optimized less-than-lethal/lethal munitions 'launcher' for the asymmetric warfare applications in hand-held as well ship and aircraft (helo) mounted configurations. Mounted versions will be designed for remote operation capability. The potential commercial applications are significant when considering the less than lethal applications of the technology and the number of 'at risk` police forces, SWAT Teams, and National Guard units. These less-than-lethal applications are very desirable for riot control, prison uprisings, out of control sports events, border patrol or even suicidal individuals. The ship self defense and offensive capabilities are also applicable to Coast Guard requirements for Homeland Defense and Drug Interdiction roles.