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Test Facilities at CCMAT:

Name: Mine Effects Facility
Short description: This is a site where explosives are used simulate mine blast effects in a controlled manner. Actual mines are used to validate simulated mine effects.



Mechanical Equipment


Protection Equipment



Upper and lower body

Basic research

Point of contact:

Name:  Dr Denis Bergeron
Function:  Project officer
Phone / Fax:  +1 403-544-4756

General information:

Indoor / outdoor: Outdoor plus central instrument and control building
Test area (m2): 1000 m2 plus
Explosive allowed: All types of explosive, all types of mine and ordnance

Elec. (110/220V)

Working office:

Size (m2)

Heating / Cooling

Phone / Fax

Internet access

(for visiting users)

25 m2 plus


Yes / Yes

Can be given


Test rigs at this site are instrumented to identify and quantify the physics of mine blast. These measurements are used to evaluate equipment and procedures developed for mine neutralization and protection for the deminer. Experimental variables include soil conditions, stand-off distance, depth of burial, charge size, type of explosive and case material.

Near field blast effects rig : Used to investigate blast effects from smaller charges placed in a container of sand or prepared soil. Instrumentation on this rig collects detailed quantitative information, as opposed to integrated values, which is used to investigate the physics of blast and to develop and validate predictive models.

Large scale test rig : Measures the blast effects from charges up to 2 kg (C4 equivalent) buried in sand or prepared soil. Targets are attached to the superstructure which has 4 built-in force transducers to record the total load imparted by the charge. Applications include modeling of the effect of AT mines on vehicles.

Horizontal pendulum : Performs a similar function to the large scale test rig. The unique feature is that the pendulum can be moved to different sites to take advantage of special soil conditions.

Protection for the lower limb (leg and foot) is investigated using two test rigs:

Mechanical surrogate leg (MSL) : Measures the physical forces imposed on the lower leg from AP blast mines. Built into the MSL are strain gauges and accelerometers. The former measure bending of the leg indicating the possibility of bones breaking due to flailing and the latter measure the shock transmitted to the leg and the chance that bones will shatter. A linear transducer at the top of the rig provides a measure of vertical displacement and total energy imparted to the leg.

Frangible surrogate leg (FSL) : Developed by DSTO in Australia, the FSL is a precise reproduction of the human leg using materials that react to blast in manner similar to human tissue. Strain gauges are placed on the "bones" to measure the load imposed by the blast. An X-ray sensitive dye allows the use of medical diagnostic tools such as the CT Scan.

Protection for the upper body (torso, neck and head) is investigated using an anthropomorphic dummy of the type used in the automotive industry. Since the positioning of the dummies relative to the focus of the blast is very important, a special test rig was developed which places the dummies in the kneeling or prone positions routinely adopted by deminers when probing for mines. Flexible mounts allow the dummies to yield to blast in a realistic manner. The full manikin test methodology was developed and validated through collaboration between the CCMAT and the US Armys Night Vision Laboratory, Fort Belvoir, VA.


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