Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shake It Up Baby

In 1963 the Isley Brothers had a hit song called"Twist and Shout." I was in the nineth grade at the time and the lyrics were somewhat risque for the time. But the girls certainly shook it at the dances when this song played.

I'm hoping that the US Air Force has a similar smash hit with it's "earthquake" bomb currently under development. And I hope the shaking it causes puts Mary Jo's booty movement to shame. Noah Shachtman has an article about this from last November. It is a fascinating look at what our defense gremlins are cooking up in secret labs.

Earthquake Array Hits Deeper Than Nukes
Attacking hardened and deeply buried target is one of the Air Force’s biggest challenges. They are meeting this challenge with a devastating new approach: a focused underground shockwave that amounts to an artificial earthquake.At present the kinetic approach – a.k.a. ‘brute force’ – is favored; the most powerful weapon in the inventory is the a 4,600 lb weapon with a thick steel casing capable of piercing 22 feet of concrete -- or 100 feet of dirt -- before exploding. There are plans to go even bigger, with a monster 30,000 lb Massive Ordnance Penetrator’ which would take the maximum depth to 60 feet. That’s about as big as you can carry on a plane.

I've discussed the MOP before. But there is something else, something better under development; an active "digger" that burrows it's way underground.

Unlike earlier weapons this is an active penetrator, a bomb that actually burrows into the ground by drilling a shaft with volleys from seven cannon. In a demonstration last year a Deep Digger prototype penetrated more than 30 feet of limestone. The makers were tight-lipped about how much further it could go.

There are some scary ass people - engineers - building bombs out there. Maybe a movie will be made about this research, A Field Of Screams, with the motto "If you build it, they will die."

Now this is a slide show of the Deep Digger bomb as presented on the DefenseTech site. It shows how the bomb works.

- Deep Digger parachutes down to a soft landing before digging in. Other bunker busters hit the ground very hard and experience a deceleration tens of thousands of g's. This affects their reliability, and the loss of a few warheads may make the whole array ineffective.
- Deep Digger may be able to maneuver underground, correcting the configuration of the array after it is in place.

Maybe this sucker could chase Achmed and his goat herd through underground tunnels? Holy Self-Correcting Terrorist-Seeking Splodeydope Emulsifier, Batman!

And then there is the WORM. The only comparison I can make is that this is a fiendish industrial-strength colonoscope manufactured by spelunking internists on crack.

Really. Look at the two of them. One gets inserted in your ass and the other one in your backyard between the kid's swing set and the pool.

I report -- you decide.

The WORM is a lot smaller than a bomb. But you could make a bigger one. The little cutie on the left can burrow 500' under ground. That's a whole lotta Mama Gaia's colon.

And it has a section capable of delivering a payload. The people developing this device use language that is kinda disturbing to me. It sounds so ... organic.

The WORM™ is approximately 30 inches in length and 2.5 inches in diameter. It onsists of a combination of hydraulic packers and cylinders to perform the peristaltic motion through the soil.

All that peristaltic packing going on.


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