New concrete buster to revolutionize search and rescue missions

December 21st, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 21 (ANI): Researchers have developed a new tool that can bust through thick concrete walls or barriers in about half the time of traditional methods, thus making all the difference when people are trapped inside collapsed buildings or walls. Called the Controlled Impact Rescue Tool (CIRT), the instrument has been developed by Raytheon Company, and funded by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Science and Technology (S and T) Directorate. The CIRT, carried and operated by two people, uses a blank ammunition cartridge designed for a standard rifledriving a pistonthat, when fired, generates a high-energy jolt. No hoses or cords are required, and it can be loaded to fire as often as two rounds every minute. At 36 inches long and 16 inches in diameter, it weighs all of 105 poundslight enough to hold up against a wall, yet heavy enough to limit recoil action that can cause injuries. During a recent test, CIRT went head-to-head against other, traditional rescue methods. It was a race to break through a vertical, 5 and a half inch slab of steel-reinforced concrete and create a hole 18 inches wide. CIRT won with a time of about 13 minutes, compared with 29 minutes or more for the others. Based on similar testing, the tool has also shown that it can bust through a horizontal slab in about 10 to 12 minutes. “Our initial goal was to reduce the CIRT’’s breach time to less than 20 minutes,” said Jalal Mapar, who manages the project at S and T’’s Infrastructure and Geophysical Division. “Over the next 12 months, we”ll refine the design to make it even more affordable for production. We really believe this is going to be a faster, better, cheaper, and safer technology for the urban search-and-rescue community across the nation,” Mapar added. (ANI)

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