Smart Isolation Mounts for Army Guns (SIMAG)

Period of Performance: 11/18/1999 - 12/01/2003


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Qrdc, Inc.
Box 562
Excelsior, MN 55331
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


In this SBIR project, we offer am innovative solution, namely Smart Isolation Mount for Army Guns (SIMAG), to the weapon stabilization and fire control problems facing US Army guns. SIMAG is composed of the optimum integration of two innovative technologies, namely Vibration Control by Confinement and smart sensor/actuator/active control systems. In Phase I, these two complementary approaches were combined to solve the firing problem at the gun mount and turret interface location. It was shown via computer simulations that such an innovative and effective approach results in a significant reduction in fluctuating loads and deformations. The combined approach could also be applied to the gun barrel to reduce its undesired vibratory motions excited by external and internal disturbances, such as gun firing frequency. Conceivably, the proposed SIMAG approach could be designed to first passively reconfigure the distribution and propagation of excess vibrational energy (i.e., intentional management of excess vibrational energy); and therefore, confine vibrations to certain non-critical regions within a structure. Concentrated passive, active, or smart damping elements or cancellation techniques may be applied to more effectively dissipate or cancel the trapped vibrations and to prevent an energy build up in the assembly. SIMAG will make significant progress towards solving the firing control problems with very small weight and power penalties by compensating for all errors in one of the two places, namely at the turret-aircraft interface or gun barrel. Even though the initial target application of SIMAG is airborne guns, a modified version can be incorporated into ground armors, such as tanks and humvees. The unique feature of our SIMAG concept is the combination of the vibration energy management theory and smart sensor/actuator/control systems. The feasibility of our unique SIMAG concept was demonstrated via computer simulations conducted in Phase I. In Phase II, we plan to demonstrate the practicality and effectiveness of the proposed SIMAG via a more elaborate computer simulation and fabrication and testing of a working prototype. BENEFITS: The industrial and military use of an effective, efficient, and low-cost smart isolation system represent a large market. In addition to targeting this market, other versions of our technology can be applied to a variety of industrial application in which low level vibrations and shocks must be maintained. Commercial watercraft, aircraft, space vehicles, automobiles, machinery, machine tools, buildings, bridges, and home appliances are only few examples of the commercial applications.