A new report (pdf) from the JASON defense science advisory panel examines the feasibility of modeling explosive shocks to naval vessels to assess their vulnerability.
“Underwater mines have long been a major threat to ships. The most probable threats are non-contact explosions, where a high pressure wave is launched towards the ship.”
“During World War II, it was discovered that although such ‘near miss’ explosions do not cause serious hull or superstructure damage, the shock and vibrations associated with the blast nonetheless incapacitate the ship, by knocking out critical components and systems. This discovery led the Navy to implement a rigorous shock hardening test procedure. The shock hardening testing culminates in a Full Ship Shock Trial (FSST), in which an underwater explosive charge is set off near an operational ship, and system and component failures are documented.”
“JASON was asked by the Navy to examine the potential role of Modeling and Simulation for certifying ship hardness, with the potential goal of FSST replacement.”
A copy of the unclassified JASON report was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “Navy Ship Underwater Shock Prediction and Testing Capability Study,” JSR-07-200, October 2007.