Projects NATO SPS Project 984595 Project Annex 5

Emerging Security Challenges Division

Science for Peace and Security Programme

Multi-Year Project Progress Report

NATO SPS Project 984595

"Protection of Underground Structures from Fuel Cloud Explosion"

The goal of the project is to develop a system for the protection of humans and infrastructure fromfuelcloud explosions. The development stages include: a) Determination of internal and external design parameters; b) Elaboration of design and technological specifications for production; c) Production of working device prototype; d) Testing of the device in an underground tunnel (under real-time conditions). The minimization of the blast effect can be achieved by ensuring the operation of the protective facility before the penetration of the fuel cloud in the tunnel. After activation, the protective system will create a liquid barrier (from dispersed water, or mixture with other liquid and/or ultra-dispersed solid particles), which will exclude the possibility of spreading of the aerosol (fuel cloud) in a tunnel, and simultaneously reduce to a minimum the fuel could detonation capability (as a result of the mixing with the barrier liquid, the fuel cloud composition will be changed).

 The proposed Explosion Suppression System will be composed of:

i)  A wireless device for the detection of explosions and the activation of a protective system simultaneously with the first charge the explosion;

ii)  An absorber ensuring the discharge of dispersed agent before the second detonator/charge explodes the fuel cloud.

 Current status:

  1. The new design of the test bench was fabricated and experimental investigations of fuel cloud explosion were conducted;
  2. The blast wireless detector and wireless activation block of explosion suppression system were developed;The pilot model of the activation modulewastested in real time explosion conditions.
  3. The methodology for quantitative risk analysis was devised to assess the impact of the thermobaric bomb explosion on underground structures. Quantitative assessment of shock wave parameters was conducted according to the technical characteristics of a Russian thermobaric bomb;
  4. A new system for the protection from fuel cloud explosion was devised following the respective risk analysis and based on  the results of blast mitigation in water mist. A principle circuit of the system was devised, and the basic requirements for the key modules as well as major design parameters were defined. The system contains three main modules: a) high speed suppression section b) suppression section with a long-term action,  c)  a control module.  A Terms of Reference (ToR) has been developed and submitted to the contractor for their application for detailed design and production of separate blocks.

Results from the preliminary research were presented at 8 international conferences and full papers were published in international journals. NATOChannel.tvproduced a video clip about the Project results ( The video has 2600 viewers for today.