Phase II year
1986 (last award dollars: 1986)
The need exists for an advancement in explosive excavation methods to improve the existing cyclic process. Phase II of this project will develop the components of an innovative explosives excavation system which will combine the automation of tunnel boring machines with the low energy and flexibility of explosives. The system will include a continuous, concurrent cycle of drilling, loading, blasting and muck removal. The phase I work included demonstration of an innovative solution to the problem of explosive detonation in automated systems. The cross-section and director of the tunnel or shaft will be varible. The system will be especially suited to the low mechanical power needs of a deep base. The phase II work will include development of prototype components, refinement of the selected explosives, field and laboratory blasting tests, hole pattern validation tests and the design and layout of a machine to perform the automated drill and blast operation.