Which Form of Technology is Used to Dismantle Bombs?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

Regardless of which form of technology is used to dismantle a bomb, the entire process requires extensive training. The military fields of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and public safety bomb disposal (PSBD) require specialized skills, equipment and knowledge to safely disable and make safe devices, both in war zones and on the streets of cities.

Often the first step is to place the bomb in a containment chamber. This can range from a simple danger suppression vessel to top-of-the-line gas-tight containers. These can be carried on towed trailers, specialised EOD vehicles or a variety of other means.

Once a bomb is contained, its parts can be examined for signs of chemical or radiological contamination, or to determine the condition of the detonator and other components. Portable X-ray systems can be used to provide a quick and accurate view of a bomb before intervention.

Modern EOD technicians prefer to do their work remotely, as close contact with munitions and bombs is dangerous. But sometimes a robot isn't available, or the situation dictates that technicians must approach a device manually. When that happens, they wear a specialised protective suit designed to shield them from blast and fragmentation effects.

The most important tool an EOD technician has in this scenario is their 'wheelbarrow' - a robotic roving vehicle that can be fitted with tools, cameras, microphones and other sensors. Many wheelbarrows are also equipped with hand-like manipulators that can be used to open doors or move a munition or bomb. A version called the ZEUS-HLONS - integrated into an HMMWV - was developed for clearing surface land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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