Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slingshot-driven device stops high-velocity projectiles without destroying them

Date:
May 31, 2012
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
What do you get when you combine a slingshot, a fish tank, a stack of 2-by-4s and five engineering students determined to help the United States Air Force? A device to stop high-velocity projectiles without destroying them.

Tremayne Kaseman stretches the slingshot to the max during a test of Team CADET's device.
Credit: Image courtesy of Rice University

What do you get when you combine a slingshot, a fish tank, a stack of 2-by-4s and five engineering students determined to help the United States Air Force?

For Team CADET at Rice University, the answer is a device to stop high-velocity projectiles without destroying them. With the Air Force's current methods, artillery shells are destroyed beyond recovery. The Air Force wants to know more about their behavior as they accelerate and decelerate.

"The challenge was to simulate high-acceleration impacts in a nondestructive way," said Duncan Eddy, a junior in mechanical engineering and member of the Controllable Acceleration-Deceleration Equipment Tester design team. "The problem turned out to have a hands-on, mechanical engineering focus."

The other team members, Autumn Allen, Tremayne Kaseman, William Li and John Stretton, recently earned their degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice. Their adviser is Andrew Dick, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Currently, the Air Force simulates deceleration by firing cannons into walls. The strategy is expensive and the sensor module and target are typically destroyed in the process. Team CADET's goal was to sustain deceleration for at least 10 milliseconds, and without destruction. They machined a cylinder of aircraft-gauge aluminum and sealed a digital accelerometer inside. Next, they built a 14-foot wooden frame to hold a track fashioned from angle iron.

On one end, they attached a slingshot made from surgical tubing; on the other, above the track, they fitted a 20-gallon fish tank with transparent plastic. Into the bottom of the tank they drilled a line of 40 holes and sealed them with a removable rubber sheet.

When the cylinder holding the accelerometer is fired with the slingshot, reaching a maximum velocity of about 50 miles per hour, the sheet is pulled off and the water is released from the tank. The falling water slows the cylinder, and the rate of deceleration is measured and recorded on the digital device. The cylinder and its contents remain undamaged and the test can be repeated indefinitely.

"Nothing is destroyed. You just fill the tank with water again and reload the slingshot," said Eddy, who stressed that the prototype can be scaled to any size.

"We started last fall with a ton of different ideas but ended up with a plan that is simple and inexpensive, and the scale can easily be changed -- a bigger tank, more water, more holes, a longer track, a bigger slingshot," Eddy said.

In April, the team visited Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and met with members of the Munitions Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, which commissioned the project. The team presented a video demonstration and PowerPoint explanation, and submitted their 65-page final report.

"They liked what they saw and said they were interested in exploring the idea further. We know we've created something entirely new. The parts are not new but the combination is. Also -- and this is important -- we came in under budget," Eddy said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Slingshot-driven device stops high-velocity projectiles without destroying them." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531165716.htm>.
Rice University. (2012, May 31). Slingshot-driven device stops high-velocity projectiles without destroying them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531165716.htm
Rice University. "Slingshot-driven device stops high-velocity projectiles without destroying them." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531165716.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins