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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2018

Camp Pendleton hosts Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona for explosive breach testing

By Lance Cpl. Lukas Kalinauskas NSWC Corona

Camp Pendleton hosted Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona’s range systems department for explosive breach testing on January 30, 2018. The explosive breach test was conducted to evaluate a new rail system that will be used as a training aid for Marine Corps Special Operations Command to set up multiple different scenarios for door breaching simulations.

“We call it the Star Pattern System because of the way the rail system is shaped,” said Henry Hsu, a mechanical engineer with NSWC Corona, and designer of the system. “With this pattern we have an almost infinitely-adjustable system.”

To develop the system Hsu had to calculate the force that would be exerted on the parts and develop a suitable material to use in the design. Once the force exerted was determined, the appropriate material was determined to be steel beams.

The eight star patterns are laid out over a 30-by-50 foot concrete pad and were tested with different doors mounted on them to evaluate their integrity. Each 6-by-6 star has to withstand quarter-pound explosive charges, has to be adjustable, and fit any type of door that may be used for training. The intent is to improve upon old systems and replace them.

“It’s faster than the old design,” said Hsu. “Originally they had bolts sticking up from the ground and it wouldn’t fit some of their uses, this design is a lot more versatile.”

After completing the tests the engineers looked for weld cracks and metal warping to ensure structural integrity of the stars.

“We had quite a few challenges putting everything together, but overall our guys did a great job building all the items and setting up the whole range,” said Hsu.