Bubba, A Teleoperated Countermine Vehicle

by Dave Hayward, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
Bryan Pletta, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
Jerry Clifford, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
Kerry Habiger, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


A recent countermine test program required the development of Bubba, a 5 ton, 6 wheel drive, M-923 military truck converted to teleoperation. The Mine Detection by Energetic Photons (MIDEP) project was a joint effort by Sandia National Laboratories and TITAN Corporation. The project involved using a Linear Accelerator (LINAC) to irradiate the ground and activate the nitrogen present in the explosive content of the mines. The decay of the radioactive nitrogen was then detected and used to determine the location of buried land mines. Because of the size and weight of the LINAC equipment, a large vehicle was required to achieve the necessary payload capability. The test vehicle had to be teleoperated because of the dangers associated with the intense x-rays produced by the LINAC, and because of the presence of unfuzed mines containing live explosives. Bubba actually contained two independent teleoperated systems. The vehicle teleoperation system provided the control functions to allow the vehicle to be remotely driven from a sheltered control area. The LINAC teleoperation system controlled the LINAC and its associated detectors. This paper will describe both systems and will discuss the results of the MIDEP test program.

Subject Headings: Nitrogen | Control systems | Vehicles | Corporations | Linear functions | Military engineering | Particles | Probe instruments

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