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Proceedings Paper

Damage assessment of mission essential buildings based on simulation studies of low yield explosives
Author(s): Thomas G. L. Allen
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Paper Abstract

There has been a lack of investigations related to low yield explosives instigated by terrorist on small but high occupancy buildings. Also, mitigating the threat of terrorist attacks against high occupancy buildings with network equipment essential to the mission of an organization is a challenging task. At the same time, it is difficult to predict how, why, and when terrorists may attack theses assets. Many factors must be considered in creating a safe building environment. Although it is possible that the dominant threat mode may change in the future, bombings have historically been a favorite tactic of terrorists. Ingredients for homemade bombs are easily obtained on the open market, as are the techniques for making bombs. Bombings are easy and quick to execute. This paper discusses the problems with and provides insights of experience gained in analyzing small scale explosions on older military base buildings. In this study, we examine the placement of various bombs on buildings using the shock wave simulation code CTH and examine the damage effects on the interior of the building, particularly the damage that is incurred on a computer center. These simulation experiments provide data on the effectiveness of a building's security and an understanding of the phenomenology of shocks as they propagate through rooms and corridors. It's purpose is to motivate researchers to take the seriousness of small yield explosives on moderately sized buildings. Visualizations from this analysis are used to understand the complex flow of the air blasts around corridors and hallways. Finally, we make suggestions for improving the mitigation of such terrorist attacks. The intent of this study is not to provide breakthrough technology, but to provide a tool and a means for analyzing the material hardness of a building and to eventually provide the incentive for more security. The information mentioned in this paper is public domain information and easily available via the internet as well as in any public library or bookstore. Therefore, the information discussed in this paper is unclassified and in no way reveals any new methodology or new technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 April 2006
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6241, Data Mining, Intrusion Detection, Information Assurance, and Data Networks Security 2006, 62410Y (18 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.668518
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas G. L. Allen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6241:
Data Mining, Intrusion Detection, Information Assurance, and Data Networks Security 2006
Belur V. Dasarathy, Editor(s)

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