MEMS-based Low Cost Mortar Fuze with Integrated Safe and Arm Mechanisms

Period of Performance: 01/03/2001 - 07/03/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tanner Research
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


Existing miniature fuzes tend to be costly, inaccurate, difficult to use, and insufficiently small or sophisticated for advanced munition applications. In alliance with fuze manufacturing experts, Tanner Research proposes to develop a novel mortar fuze with integrated safe and arm (S&A), and fuzing mechanisms based on micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Our innovation is to incorporate a smart, programmable MEMS S&A device in the mortar fuze that minimizes size and weight, increases reliability and safety, improves timing accuracy, and reduces component and system cost. Due to its small mass and mechanical nature, our S&A device will be insensitive to electro-magnetic radiation and able to survive high-g accelerations, while minimizing collateral damage.Tanner Research has demonstrated expertise in the designs of MEMS, integrated circuits, electronics systems, and packaging. During an Air Force Phase I SBIR, we have already developed several designs of MEMS fuze systems and performed feasibility tests with spot charges. Our device will be fabricated using commonly available fabrication equipment to ensure low-cost production and ease of manufacturing and technology transfer. Our S&A design will enable the integration of sensors and electronics with a fuzing device in a compact volume (fraction of a cubic inch).Explosives are commonly used by expert operators in mining, construction, and demolition, rescue/emergency operations, and the entertainment industry. Novel, low-cost, and reliable S&A devices can improve the safety and cost of all electronically-controlled explosive systems, protecting both expert and novice users.