The Metal Storm Crowd Control System (MSCC)

Period of Performance: 01/17/2003 - 07/16/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


This project will result in the design and demonstration of a totally unique and versatile "Crowd Control System" that essentially inhibits fatalities while still neutralizing the individual(s) due to its ability to compensate for major range variations and target characteristics in terms of crowd density, motion and composition. These attributes are possible due to the re-configurable multi-barrel, Metal Storm system. The Metal Storm concept has been demonstrated and tested both in a human portable and hard mounted configuration. For the first time, the user will have an extremely rapid fire sequential and/or concurrent capability, instantaneously selectable munitions types, and accuracy, as a function of range. 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 vehicle mounted. The proposed concept will provide the required accuracy regardless of range and will require minimum training for its employment. Other benefits are its versatility to accommodate a variety of non-lethal munitions, its ease of target selection, a wide range of dispersion patterns at a high rate of fire, if required. Metal Storm technology provides for a system whereby the following characteristics advantageous to crowd control can be exhibited by a single weapon: - Munitions can be delivered with a KE or Muzzle Velocity (MV) automatically selected using real-time range to target information. - One compact weapon can house various calibers and types of munitions, whether the system is handheld or vehicle mounted. - Munitions can be delivered singularly (one at a time from any particular barrel when required) or over a large area in a single firing instance. Area-effect munitions can be deployed extremely precisely, in a pre-determined pattern and over a pre-determined area. - 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). - The system can be built with significantly reduced weight (on top of the already drastically reduced weight compared to a regular gun) by the use of composite barrels (1/5 the weight of steel). - 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 potential commercial and military applications are significant when considering the number of at-risk police forces, SWAT teams, and National Guard units. Whether the crowd control system is used for riot control, prison uprisings, out of control sports events, border patrol or even suicidal individuals, the less than lethal capability is highly desirable.