O-028 ASTRID: The Ammunition Safety Test Reports International Database

September 1996
Patrick Kernen (Explosive Effects)

In a NIMIC specialists' meeting on Streamlining Safety Testing for Munitions, it was highlighted that the current NATO standardised way of carrying out IM testing and assessing munitions safety should be improved because of the low confidence level of the results / munitions responses. This is also sponsored by the AC310 / IM STANAG Experts' group in charge of drafting an AOP to support this STANAG. Under its Memorandum of Understanding, NIMIC makes a proposal for the benefit of its member nations to compile in a new database under formats - still to be agreed by its future users - the relevant and reliable safety test reports on generic mock-ups, test vehicles, components and munitions.

As of mid-1996, the NIMIC database comprise more than 20,000 documents and there are several databases on ammunition in use (usually restricted to an organization or a nation). The combination of these databases and the permanent analysis capabilities of NIMIC would enable NIMIC to create an "Ammunition Safety Test Reports International Database" (ASTRID) with the help of its 10 member nations. The NIMIC expertise would be a key asset for deleting the unreliable data and the already structured NIMIS database could provide an initial format for the safety test reports.

Then, with the means of a set of selection / elimination criteria established according to the State of the Art relating to the mechanisms involved in the threat / test configurations and described during NIMIC workshops, NIMIC would be able to release to the requester interested by a particular configuration a list of safety test reports relating to configurations meeting his selection requirements and "close to the configuration of interest for the requester". A major selection criterion is the involvement of the same controlling / dominant initiation mechanism as that of the configuration of interest for the requester. As a consequence, the statistical validity of the test responses could be improved or even the actual testing could be replaced by ASTRID predictions and modeling, which would be acceptable for some safety approval authorities for IM, as France.

The benefits are obvious - avoid duplication of testing and share data on the international arena, hence reduce the cost of development - and the drawbacks are on NIMIC.
The database will be useful, if and only if the potential users and benefactors release more recent data, as necessary with a caveat on the name of the munition / munition system.

This text describes the features and functions of the proposed ASTRID database, i.e. the types of data to be made available, the proposed datasheets for the main threats, the possible interactions with other databases, a selection process for retrieving the relevant datasheets, the benefits for the various categories of stake-holders and the political supports expected.

Presentation details

Paper presented at The Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board Seminar Las Vegas, NV, August 20-22, 1996