Lewis H.

Burke FOIA Officer



8, April 2009

Office of Counsel

·"t SUBJECT: Freedom of information Act Request No,. 09-05-

Mr. John Greenewald, Jr.

Dear Mr. Greenewaid:

1111 response to your FOIA request dated Ma.rch 1 S" 2009, enclosed is the information you requested. There will be no charqes associated with this request I:f you have any quesnons, please feet free to contact me at the address above or at telephone number (6001) 6,34 ... 2757.



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Propert.y of the Un1 ted St&tea Covernment


Mo~,or lynn (~ We,bster



U ~ S, .. Army Eng ineer 'Wa,t,erway's, Exper imant Station

Approved for public release; dlstrlbutlon unl imi ted

r .


Destroy this repor t when no longer needed.

Do not r e tu rn it to the o r i.g irra tor .


The findings. in this r-epor-t are not to be construed . official D1lepl&rtmen·t of the Arm.y position 'Wiles8" desi.gna ted by o ther autho . ized do currren ta ,

Printed in USA... A-vailabl.e from Def errs e Dlocumentatio·~··:· ... '_~. ~~.~'r, Carne ron statioD,,'.··lexan,dria .• V'irginia ZZ314Of:···~·':··''"~Y

Na'ti9nal Tlecl~~ical Itif'olrmation Service, -.:. r .. >.'

. Uill S. ·De·partment of Commerce, '., .. ,.

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Unclas sified,

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eURI~TY 'C,LASS,IFIC,ATION 0,'" 1"~rS IPAGE (Wh. ~ Daf'. Ent.l'I.dJl

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~."', TIT L E (M,d' Subt, t".)






Lynn C. Webs ter '. AJ~ CE



'S, Army E,ngineer Waterways Experiment Station

-,xplo,siv,e Excavation Re s ea r ch Labc r a tor y

~ ive rrn or e, 'CA 194550


Task 05; Work U'niLt 014

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--, ........ ;'_ ice of the Chief of Engineers

r 'ASH DC ZOl314



Octob~r 19'74


15~ S se u R~ 'T v ci, ASS~ (01 Uti ,."p,ort)

Unc la es ified

• : ·IDISTRfBUTION ,STATEMENT (01"'''. RepolfJ

rpp roved for Pub I ie Rel ea.ae: dis tribution unlim.ited

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,GIST Ria u T'. ON IT A T EN E.N T (0.,' t. a .1-.1. tr.-cf. ent..-ed l:n BI,Q'c·,t J6" ltd' tlenn~ &om Repon)


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19' ._ EY WO R DS (Continue on ,re" . •• '" h,. " 'h.C .... _" - d 'dent,' fy IIy. bllOck nmnber)

rUling ock Drillin,g S bterrene ',,·'/ck Melting Technique,s

Explo,sive Em,pla,cmnent Subsurface Exploration

20 "U:rRACT (ea.,... .. ,. .... ' •• aldo' ., n.c.,.·._,. add ,d_tl'fy ",,,block :i'W:DIb.!N")

. "lm,he subte r r ene melts hotes through soil and rock 'by means of a high tern -

Israture penet.ra tor ~ Its capabfl.Ltie s include pr ec i s iors drilling, simple opera: io'n , a na tur-al ca s irig of the d,rill hole ('in the, form of a glass lining produced ',.ring penebr at ion}, long life of the pen.etr'a to r (the life of the subter rene pene-,at,or far ex ce e da that of the rock bit), and env izonrnen ta.l advantages (the, loud ~·oi .s e and dust produced by rotary and per cus s ion drills do not exi st at a sub-

e'rrene site) ~ On the other hand, the co s t of s ubfe rr en e ope rat.iona is a def-

- ~Iit,e Imitation; it is very' high cornpa red ',!'ith 'that of convent ional drilling ..

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.~. O.'t Cont inued

.' n analysis of military drilling' r equi.r em enrs reveals that additional serious ilnitations arise when, the 8ub1terrene is con s ide r ed for military a ppl.i ca ti on s ,

It La concluded that, in its present c,o,nfig'ur'ation and even with it,s pr ojec ted apabfl i tie s , the Bubterrene does not meet a significant num.ber of the drilling equirements of the ,A,rmy.

Unclas s ified







Major Lynn C~ Webster




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MS .. da te , Ocbober 1974

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The U .. S. Army En,gineer Water'ways Experllnent Station (USAE'WES,) Explosive Excavatio,n Re s ea rch Labo r ato ry I(EERL)

evo lved from the [organization ori,gin,ally known as the US,A,E Nuclea.r Cratering Group (NGG),. which was es ta bl i ahed in 1962. The period between 1 August 1[971 and 21 April 19'72 was a transition per i.od dur ; ing which the Iabo ra to r y was known as the Explosive Excavation Re-' search Office (,EE,RO).

EERL conducts research in the areas of nuclear and high explos ive eff'ec ts with emphasis on th,€: u se of expl o s i ve s for cr ea cion of military barriers to annor movement and large s ca.l e con s tz-uc ti.on excava tion, Cl os el y r e'la te d to this expl.os ive excavation work is a

c onc e r-n with the ability of Corps of E,ngineers personnel to opfirna.Ily place explosives for apectfrc ap'pliea.tions. Thus" there exists an extensive interest in, itnpr'oving' the capability to drill Ia r gevdtamete r holes to r easonabl e depths. This, work wa s pe r forrn ed as a .result [of

this, interest. and funding suppl.i ed b'y the Inhouse Laboratory Independent Re sea r ch P'r-og r arn of the Wa,terw,ays Experiment Station.

The Director 0'£ WES during the preparation of this r e por twas COL G. H. Hilt and the Director of EERL was LTC ,Rt R. Mills, Jr.



The subterrene melts holes through soil and rock by means of a

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19. cern p e r a u r e pener ra or ...

I to: C''5Ii pa b-"l"l~ Li t· '1·~.c in -: ell U' d, ie ~ pr:' e c I" ~ ;0' n d: r 1"1 _

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ling, simple operation, a natural casing of the drill hole (in the form of a glass lin.ing produced during pene.tra tton) , long life of the perse-, hoator (the life of the eubte rr ene penetrator far exceeds that of the rock bit), and enviramnental advantages (the loud noise and dust produced by rotary and percussion drills do not exist at a 5ubterrene site). On thea the r hand, the cost of subter 1" en e opera tiona is a definite Lim i.tatfon: it is very high compared with that of conventional ,drilling. An analysis of military drilling requirements reveals that additional serious limitations arise when the subte r rene is considered fo r milita,ry appl ications ~

It is corrcl uded tha t, in, its p reaent configuration and ev en with its projected capabilities, the subterrene does not meet a significant number of the drilling requirements of the Army.

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The p.r epar a tron of th is r e po r t was made possible by the cont.r ibutfons of several people , The author desires to ackrrowl.edg e the assistance of MAJ Richard L. Gates and S:P4 Jon Morishita for their assistance in c.ollecting data on the sub te r r ene a.nd its capabilitie.s. Appr ec ia tion is a.Lso expressed to Drs .. J .. C .. Rowley, C. A"f! Barig s ton , and R .. J.

Hanold, and to Mr , R. E. William.s, all of Los Alamos Scientific La.bo r a.to r y , .for their a s s i s tanc e in p rov rdrng reports on development p r ogr e s s an.d pa r ti c i.pa t ion in di scus s iona on the subte r r erie,









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A. 1 ~ 2 .. 3.

B" 'C,.

Drilling Requi r em en ts , Com bat S,upport. ~ Construction Support ..











Utilities ..




Dr illing Capabilities




Propoa,ed P'r-ocu.r ern en t





A .. His to r y.. .. .. .. ;0 Ii • .. ..

B"" Corrcep t and Dev i c e s·. " .. .. • •

c. Suppo r t Equipment .... MI i •




D. E ..






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A. PenetrationRate ..... I ' ...



B .. COl

Support Requirements.






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A. Backgr,ound. U. S. Arrn y Engineers" like their counterparts in industry, ar e cont inuoual y seeking new ways to increase their capability to excavate so i.l and rock. Unlike his civilian counterpart". the. Army Engineer has as his main pur po s e for this s ear ch the irn p rov e-. ment of the qua.l ity of the support 'he is able to giv,e to the fighting

soldier Ii The types of missions included. in this support va ry from the ex.cavation of in.dividual fighting po s it ion s to the c r ea eion of effective

obstacles, .and beyo.nd. Cons t.ru e tion is also in.ctu de.d in these missions;

however, re S,P'ODS iveness to the fron t-line soldier I' s nee ds is 10£ pr irnar y irn po r tan ce , The Army' Engin,eer has, 'bee,n severely restricted

in efforts to improve his capabilities, by the ab s en ce of a t r ul.ye.Ife c t.i ve

m.ethod fo r rapidly d r il l in.g holes in soil and. rock. Th e r efo r e , he is

vitally irrte r es ted in n.ew drilling techniques ..

One such te chn ique now be in g devel ope d at the Los Al.arno s Scientific Labo ra to r y (LASL) ern pfoy s a tool called the subterrene.. The subte r r ene melts ho le s thr-ough so tl or rock with a high tern p e r a.tu r e pen etr a to r , Tests have, demonstrated that the con cept is workable and.

may well prove to be an ext r ern el y effe c ti ve d.rilling m ethod,

BiN Scope" This repor twill re v i ew cur r en t a.nd an ti c i pa ted m.ili·tary drilling requirement.s .t briefly des c r ibe the subterrene ~ and eval·-, nate the apparent suitability of the subte r rene fo r meeting these requirements. Since s ubte r r erie development is still in the active stage, the evaluation of its capa.bilities must, by necessity~ reflect th.e anfi c lpations of its deve.lopers. In s orn e ca s e s , these concepts have. not yet been, pr,o'ven.




A. Drilling Requi r ernen t s , For discus s ion purpo s e s t Arrn y

drilling r equi r em ents 'have b ee n divided into three [distinct categories: 1,. ~olllbat Support. Corn ba t s uppo r t represents those operations specifically oriented towar d assisting the front-line combat soldiers in pe rfo rrnance [of the ir fighting rn i s a ion ,

Although several te chn iqu e s have been d.ev el o pe d to ae s is t the

sof dte r in pr e pa r ing fighting positions, none h as proven entirely ade,qua te , Mo s t r equ i r e excessive installation tirn e or are at least partly re s tricted by ce r tain geologic conditions. .A wor kabl e Iar ge ... hole drilling c.apability could do much toward irnp r ov irig this s ifuat ion , ,S,u,eh a capability' would 'be especially effective in rapidly preparing

s ecorida r y or alternate positions during defensive, arid r err og r ade ope r « a tions . Th e reduction in tnanpower required to perforrn such work

would g r ea tl y in c r eas e the forces available tOI the corn ba t commander.

One of the rn o st useful cornba t support tools ava Il.abl,e is the barrier or ob s tacl e to en.erny a rrn o r rnovern ent, Many natural ob sta cl ea exist in most terrains; however .. the corn ba t erig ine e r i s called 'upon to tie

these natural ob s ta cl e s together with artificial obis ta cl.e s created at

selected Loc a ti.on a and selected tirn e s, An effective obstacle of this t.ype is the expl os ive.Ly pr-odu ce d crater'. Both nuclear and 'high, explosive sources can be used to pr-oduce such c.r'a ter e , At pr e s en t, only nuclear c ra.ter ing de tonation s are available for producing large ob,-

s ta cf e s , High expl o s ive cratering is ge ne r a.Hy limited to pro,duc,tion of small road cra te r s that will certainly slow and ha ras s enemy a rrnor e d forces 'but will not present a s e r i.ou a oba ta cl e to their movement. An

a c tive research program is eva Lua t in g the pos s ibl e m.ilitary use of bulk explosives. commonly used in the comrn erctal mining and quarrying induet.r ie s . These e xpl.o s i ves would allow the corn ba t engineer to produce large c ra te ra using large quantities of explo s ives ~ In order to gain optimmn use 0[£ 'both nuclear devices and these new bulk explosives, a ca pabi.l i ty for drilli.ng Ia r ge , relati ve.ly deep ern pl.acern enk .ho.Ie s must be provided. Only' then can cra te r ing charges be placed at sufficient depth to optirn iz,e cra ter p r o duc fion ,


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2" Con s tructi,on ~uppor t. The con s true ti[on suppor t ca pabi l ities of ccrn ba t van d corrs tr uc ti on engineers can be :5re,atly improved by

expanding the a.bility· to drill ho les :more effectively in. soil and rock. Exploratory d.rilling can do, rrru ch towa r d impr-oving construction d.esigns I Curr ent capabilities are seriously Iim ired, La rg e r hole size, both d iarn e.ter a.nd depth, is ne eded to all-ow' expansion of foun da rion con.struction. In rrrariy locations t the ability to in.stall large concrete ca i sson s 'would ease the con s t r uc tron of Ia rge e tr uctuz-as ~ such as petrolewn s tor age tanks.

The s·tate-of- the .... .a r t in explosive excavation has been significantly _. advanced in recent years. Wi.th the potential for using large qua nt.i tie s " of explosives in such applications, a capability to drill large holes is


essential if this new tool is tOt be ful Iy utilized. It was Learn ed in Vietnam,that in certain Io ca t ion s, rna s s i.ve quan titi e s of cru.shed rock ~ . m.ust be produced in order to build and to rnain ta in effective lines of cornrnun ica t ion , Current capabilities proved inadequate for th.e needs in this pa rtrcul.a.r situation. A 8, m entloned ea.r-Lie.r , the quarrying in,dus·try is, now' using large quantities of bulk explosives to increase pr-oduction, This a,a'me capability is, required if the Ar'my is to be prepared for all type s of combat situations., In addition. to a bulk explo-

s ive , rock d.ri.lling equf.prnen t is r equt.r ed to pr-oduce rapidly ern pkac ed, larger, deeper holes for production blasting ..

3 ~ Utili tie s , In the area of utilities cosrs t'ruc rion , an i:rn pr oved capability to install wa ter wells and utility poles is required to enhance base development ope r at ions ,

B. .Drilling, Capi\bilities,. In view of the current capabilities of

1 . £

comrn e rcia l drilling equipment., Arm'Y drilling equipment rn ight be. c on-

~~~ sidered quite antiquated. Rock drilling equi pm en t includ.es a hand-held pne'uma tic pe r cus s ion drill capable 0'£ d.rilling a 51-mm (2 -in) - diameter hole to a depth of 3 III (10 it) ~ wagon- and c rawl er -rn oun ted d r if'te rs capable of drilling up to O. l-m (4- in)],--diame'ter holes to a depth of

? 3 rn (24 it), and a well .... drill capable of d.rilling O. 2 In (,8 - in.~diameter . '. holes to a depth of 3[05 m ('1000 ft). The only earth drillin.g equipment ava.ilable is a ak id-crrounred earth auge r J whrch can drill holes up tc

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C.. PrIOpos"e,d P ro·curement.. An effo r t is being rn.ade to gain

app rova.l for p.ro cu r ernen t of a commercial ~ type drilling rn a chtne for mIl ita ry u se . A Requ i rem en t Ope ra ciona.I Capability (ROC) is being evalua ted an d , if it is approved" e va.Iua.t.ion of exis ting' c orrrrn ar-cia.I equip:ment will b eg in, The s pec.ifi cat ion s incfuded in the .ROC call for a drilling rn a ch.in e ca.pabke of drilling a O~ 9'-m (3-fl)-di.am.ete.r· hof e to a depth of 18"t 3 rn (60, it) in a rn axjrriurn oJ' 2· h, The rma ee r-ia l to be exca va te d iri cl udes soil and very s of t rock. The rn a ch irie rrru s t a l so have a capab il.i ty for unde rr eaming the bottorn of the hole to a diamete r of

1. ,8 rn (6· ft) ~ If this propo s ed capability' is app rov ed and a a ui ta.bl e

d r-i l l i.ng rnac hirre is p ro cu r e d, a rnaj o r s te p towar-d sa tis,fying' the r e .... qui r em ente de acr ibed above will have been. taken, 'Yet to be met is, the requireme-nt to drill Ia rge r holes more quickl y in rn edium and ha.zd rock.



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,A.~Hi5tory. T'he s ubke r r en e (ro,ck rnel.ti.ng] concept wa s first

gene r a ted over a decade ago at L,ASL.. Unfo r tuna tel y, in s,u.fficient

inte r e s t in it[s deve l.oprrren t pr ev entod funding for irrrrn e d ia te r e sear ch,

Thus, the co nc ep.t la,y essentially do rrnan t 'until r-e ceri t years" In 'the early 1970'18, LASL r evi.ved the concept and was abl.e "to obta iri de ved.op .....

rnen t suppor t funds f r om the, Nati ona.I Science F'oundation (NSF).

The initial ba eis for this su pport wa.s the de s ire to de v elop an rrn os proved tunnelling ca pabil i ty. Devel opm en t research be gari w i th tunrre l ... l ing as its initial goal. Midway thr-ough this first .... yea r effort, the emphasis was changed by the s ponso r , LASL wa s asked to concen trate its efforts on developing a subter rene capable, of drilling deeply into

r o ck, In, deep hol e s where rock tern pe r a tu.r e s rise to a s i grri.fi can t Level , conventional drilling te,chniLq,'u[es en counbe r s er iou s p r obl ern a,

The s ubte r r ene was viewed as a, devrce the effe'ctiv'enessl of which might 'b'e enhanced by the s e r Is irig tempe r atu r e s . Wh,en NS'F was una ble to con trnue its suppo rt of the subterrene deveio,p,ment during the fokl.owfng year, the Atom ic Energy Ccrnrn ies ion (A,E·G) p ro vi de.d Ior its continued d eveloprn e nt. The goal of the AE'C gave arro th er n ew d i r e et.ion for the devel oper s , It called for th,e deve lopment of a working aub te r r-en e cap .... able of dr i l Hng rion.l in ea r axpkora tkon hole s through granula r materials '. LAS·L is wor k irrg toward, this goal and plans to begin on- s i te field te s t.-

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mg soon.

B,. ,C"nc,ept, an.d Devi~es ~ The subte r ren e concept is based on the, fac t that rn o st r-ock s melt at abou t 1200"oC (Z,Z,O[OoF'_), arid that materials

are available that CQ,n b,e heated to this tem pe r a tur e w i thou t nearing'


their rn el tirrg po ints .. ~ '" Thus, a penet ra to r rnanufa ctur ed Erorn some

such material, heated to a temperatu.re in excess of IZOOoC, and

p re s s ed against r ock b,y an ex.te rna I load should melt a path through the rock ..

The initial de vi.ce develope,d to test the conoep t coneis ts of an

electric hea cing el ement encased, i.n a bul.l e t-. shaped rn eta] p enet ra tor

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A series, of hyd:raulic jacks provide a con trol.Ied Ioa.ding


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for ce d into rock fractures Ji pores in the rock, and back alongside the penetrator as the penetrator advances. When prope r l y adjusted for tem.perature and advance rate, this subte r r ene can leave, a rela tivel Y' irrape r v iou s gka s s --lined hol e , Although rock d,rilling was the p r irn ar y goa l , the glass lining prompted the te s tirig of the device in granular soil in which hole ca s ing is no rrna.Il y a rie ce s sity in conventional dr i.l.L,


m g , Tests pe rfo rrn ed in these soils showed, that the, glass lining was

a ga in formed arid served a s an effe c tiv e ca s ing ..

P'r oblem s eric oun'te r ed in pene tr at.ing dense, unfractured rock, coupled with, a desire to in cr ea se hole, sizes led bOI the s ear ch for a tech .... nique for evaluating at l eas t part of the m ol ten rock. Whereas the ortg .... , ina l de vi c e con sot ida ted the rn el.te d rna te r ia.l s , the new devi.ce woul d be required to extrude the rn a te r ie.l.. 'I'hus the subte r r en e technique was expanded to include two types of o pe ratl.on, oon ao Li da t.i on and e.xtr us ion ,

The extrusion penetrator still leaves a gla s s -Lined dr il l hole; however, the bulk of the melted material is r-emoved to the surface .. The te chn ique used for this removal in c'lu.de s the use [of fo rc ed gaseous cool.ant circulating through the device. As the coolant returns, to the su rfa ce, it cools the melt. arrd ca r r-Le s it out of the hole through the

.. ' .~.i ;-;0 center of the p erie t r a tor stem. The rock, .... rn el t debr i.a can be extruded as glass rods) glass pefl.e ts , or r o ck wool , The s y s tem for removin,g

., 4

the d.eb r i s is not unlike that u sed in conventional r ota r y rock dr il l s ,

c. Support Eq,'uiprnent. Th e total sys tem for the current, sub .... terrene devices is somewhat com pl ex, Both extrusion arid consolida-

tion, devi c e s require, p r ec i s ion monitoring an.d control equi prn ent to

en s ure rn a intenan ce pf optimum penetra tor tem per-atu r e s and a.dva.n ce rates. Both, also req uir e an el ec tr i ca.l power source, a load app Lea ..... tion s tructu'r e , and a supply of compressed coolant to cool the pene,tra tor and in extrua ion to cool and r ern o ve debr is ,

D~ Evalua tiona ~ The aubter rene prototype s ha ve been e,xtensiv,ely evaluated in both laboratory and field environments. They have euc.ce s eful.Iy drilled small-diameter holes in va r Ious types of soils and rock, in cl.ud ing tuff, granite, arid basalt (Fig .. Z). U's e in, an actual field ap plica t ion has been a ccom pl i s hed , and, a.no'the r field appl i ca tion



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Fig .. Z," Holes drilled in ro ck s arn pke s by consolidating ..... perre tra tor subte r r ene .




IS planned for the near futu r e ,

E. Future Pla.n s , LASL d ev e lo pe r s envision e'xpa.n s ion of the s ub te r rene ~ s capability to include the drilling of m'uch larger holes ~

.It is e xpec te d tha t su.cb a devicle. will cons is t of a series of small perre ... tr a to r s rn oun te d together in a circula r configura ti on (or some other

shape if de 5, ir ed}. On very large holes, such as tunnels j the s ubte r ,

rene wo uld p ro ba bl.y 'be us ed to excavate and to line the e.xtr·ernitie.s of the hole; some other m.ethod, po s s Ibf y conventional .. would be used to fracture and r em ove the core rna te r ia.L Ano ther e.xterrs ion being considered is the development of a device that will Leave intact a .glasscoated center core removable for ex pl.o r a to r y examination. The ul t i-

mate subte r rene is a tunne.Il in g machine with a s el.f-ccon ta ined nuclear

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power source to s uppo r t 1 s operation. ..

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A~ Penet.ration, Ra te , 'I'he pene tr a.Hon r ate of the subte r rene

va r i es considerably with the rn o de of o pe ra Hon (i-li. e t> ~ consolidation or

€xtrns.io,n) arid the medium being' pen et ra.ted. Th e se rates can be pre, .... · di cted with r ea s onabl e a c cu ra cy ba s ed on the rn e d'ium p r ope r taes , periet ra tor d e s i gn , and mel.ting powe r (melting power is that po r eion of the total pow e r inpu·t a ppf i ed to melting the rock) ~ ,E,g sen tially,; the

,penetr,ation rate is proportional to the m·elting power with the pro·po.rti.oria.l i ty [constant be ing d,ep,e.n,d.ent upon the media properties and ,p'ene-

t t d '. 7 Th 9"" 0"" (. 3 5 iI ) '1'~ da ti to h' d

r ato r :eslgn. -:.·CI< -znrn u ,», , .... ill con s ol ida ti on p r oto t'ype ·asi .. ,ern,....

on s tra ted penet.ra tion ra.tes r angtng f:rom 1. 4, !nIh (44' ,5 ft/h) in ha rd soil to 6 .• 1 m /h (20 ft/h:) in soft soil" The e xtr-u s ton p:rotot'yp,e has drilled 3,O~nlm (141 Z-in .• }..diamete.r holes thr-ough rock at ra te s of

• 0.6 rn Zh (Z nIh) in hard material and 1. 5 rn Zh (5 £l/h) in soft rock. Z Al though the s e rates app ea r to be q'uite Iow , it rn us t be rem.e·Illbered that refinements, of the subte r r ene a r e continuing, and one of the .fore-

most goals is to irnpr ove these rates signifi.c,antly.. Ana.lys i s (by de .... velope.r s] of what rn i.glrt be c on s i de r ed a typical m.ilitary r equi r emen.t, drilling: of O~. 6-m. (2 -f,t) --·diaJnet,er shafts in h·ard rock or so il has led to the con clus ion that equipm ent with. the. following' spec ifi c .. a.tkon s can

8 be dev el.op ed:

Hole. Diameter Hole Depth

Pene tration Ra tie

O. [6 m ( 2 ft) ZOI m (_ 10[0 ft)

1.10 mm/s (10 ft/h) ZOOI kW

r .~

, .

. :~ ... i

Coolant 'I'ype Air'

Hydraulic Thrust Foree ZO to 50 x 103 Ib

B. SUPP'9r t Reg~iretn~en_'t9.t) The ,pres,entl y wor-king subtee-r enc prototype is supported by two major mobile items of equipment. The firs t, a fla t- bed, semitrailer, consi s ts of a derrick- typ'c mast mounted on the rear, a powe,r supply for the h.yrlra'ulic jacking ,B,YS, tern , and ,a

r e c tif ier to con ver-t an external A'C power supply to D·C for' heating the

8 .

pene tr a tor .. ·· The, s econd item [of equipment is a con trol, van sem.i ...

traile.'r, which houses the rnoni.to r ing and corrtr-o.l equi.pment. Th,e





corn pre s s ed coolant. s uppl y , l ike the electrical powe r , is fu rn i sb ed b1y a.n out s i de source. It is ant ic ipa te.d that the de sign of a single. self .... con ta in e d unit could be a c corn pk i eb ed if such a design is desired", A single powe r source rrrount ed on the. s em i.tratl e r coul d 'be ta i.l o r ed to

meet the electrical, compressed cool an t, and hydraul ic needs of the sys terri , A. COIn pa ct control unit coul.d also be rnoun ted on the same s em itra i.le r ,

'0 : . '. '-. t·'", . f ,j. [l..., s' b· t .-", .... '. .. .. '-.: '. ·t· " t-· ' -.-.. .. '. " - .'.,. ..' ct· .'. 1 .. ' ti ,.-. ',. .

per a trnn 0 l.:,Ule,u .. e r r-en e pro 0 ypes in r ern o te .o ca 11·nD,S, re~

quires both electrical g erie r ataon e.quip·,ment, an d an air corrrpr e s ao r . A lO-·k·W ga so l in e engine gene rato r is adequ a te to rnee't e.le c t r i ca.l needs,

d 1 0',' 5 f t 3 I .. ( ok..... I . 3"" S' f t·3, I in] . 11 . d-]

an a c' '.! .. " mln cornpres,sor ·acl!;IlJ"a ·u,s,e· ~ .'. :c' ·m'ln. w i provIH~e

the coolant flow to s uppor t the cool ing and. debris, eva cua t ion functions ~ The .ge.n.eral ru.le-of.- thurn b ·used. in e s t ima.ting powe r r equ i r ern en ts for fu.ture larger - scale equipment is that the power rre e de d iric r ease s as the square of the p ene tr-a to r dtamete r , The fuel eon aurn.ptl on of the

genera to r and com pr e s sor is appr-oxirn at.el y 4 gal Zh du r ing subterre.ne

ope r a tion, 'I'heo r e tical.Iy, the subte r r en e , af ter set .... up has b1een

ac com pl i shed, can be ope ra ted by nine person; howeve r , it is expected

tha t a.ddi tiona!. per sonnel will be requi r ed for s et.-up an d rna in tenan ce ari d repair ope ra tion s .

.. I

C'. Cost.s , The co st of opera ting the s ubte r r erre is quite high

wh.en com pa r ed wi th conv en ti.ona l drilling.. Ea.rly cost analyses for the con solidatlrig pen,etrato1r r ev ea.l.e d tha t to tal ope ra ting c os t.s ra.nged from $8 .. 04·lm ($Z~ 451ft) to $,26 .. 74/m (.$,8,~ I5/it) dep,en,ding upon the,

tY"p"e: of pene tza to r used and the t ern p e r a tu re of op .e ra tron

.. '.' I·.·. . " ... ~~.'" . ' .... '" : c· .... . _.. . .. 1. c···.. -"'~~"._.' .,'.. . ". '. ....."~" " . "

addr e saed penetration of unconacl ida ted rn.a te.r ia.L 'I'hes e figures are baaed upon the cos t of-- cons truction of proto type one- of .... a ..... kind penetra tors and pr oba bl y r ep r eaerat the upper limits for this typ,e of opera ....


tion;l ~". Despite thj s fact" the Lowe s t cos t operatio.n does not favorably

compare with a co.nventional pe rcu s s ion d .. rill operation cos ti.ng on the order of ,$3. 30/m ($1 ~ OOI/ft) in hard Lirn es tone, In ca s e s in which g ranular rrra teria l s are encounte r ed, this va r ian ce rn ay ble s i.gn if i ca.ntl y reduced if cas in g of the conv enttonal hole is required, since. the s ub te r ... r-ene produces its own glass-lik.e casing. E,fforts are continuing 'to'


reduce subterrene ope r a tin g co s ts to a point at. which the costs become com petitive with thos e o,f c orrv en tiona 1 equ ipm ent , A t p r e s en t, however, orrly in very s pe c ia.I ap pl icati.ons mvolvin g se riou s drilling problem S can the subte r rene hope to, com pe te on an, econ orn i,c basis.

D. Sp,e~~?tlAd,'v~a,nta,ges,. The s ubte rrerre offers several special advantage s ove r conventiona l d r il l ing equiprn en t in ce r ta in ca ee.s , AI, .... though some of th ese have been mentioned ea r l ie r , it is a ppr op r ia te to r ev i ew them '.' The, s ubter r ene Lerid s itself to p r ec i s ion ,drilling" Sin.ce the r ock or soIl material is melted during perret r ati on , the conce.rn for

rn i aaf i gnrn errt of the perre t r ato r upon errcoun te r irig pe r tu r ba ti.ons in the medium is rn in irn iae d, Su ch is rio t the ca se Ior coriv en ti.ona.I d ril.l in.g, Conven tional dr ills a re easily pushed off .... cou rse by ha rd r ock s In soil or fault pla.nes in ro ck, Thus t the, subte r r ene offe r s a rna jor advantage when hole alignment is a critical is aue ,

Cas ing of drill ho le s be com e s a, se r i.ou s problem. in conventaona l

d ~ 1" Li I ,. b . h ti "d fib ~I ~ 11

rl m g , .~ t is bo tl r rrm e .... c on aurn mg anc orren o nry rna r g ina .. y success-

ful . 'I'he au bte r r erre c r ea tes a natural cas in g in the Io rm of the glass lining produced during pene tra ti on .

Tests in di.ca te that the qua.l i ty , th i.ckrie s s , and continuity' can be influen ced by the, oper a to r to rn ee t the needs. of ea ch par ticula r situa-, ti.on , The life, of a con ven ti ona l r-ock bit i:SI rela tivel y short when the

dr illing is in 'hard ro ck .. , 'The, need, to chan.g'e these bits r egul.ar-Iy r e ...

duces the 'effectivenes S of the dr il.Ling ope ra.Hon , especially when very dee p holes, are tOI be drilled. T'he s ubte r rerie perie+r a tor life Is not nea r ly so res tric ted and fa r exceed,s, that ,of the r ock bit. This p,enetra tor life enhan ce s the subte rr ene 1 s c.apa bfl i ty fa,r pr'ovidin,g ccmt.in-, uou s ope:ration for an e.xterrd ed period ...... especially true w'hen ver y

deep drilling is irrvo] ved,

Where,a,5 the rotary' d r Il.l b'egins to encounte r s.e ve r e pr obkems a t

depths at which rock. tmnp,e:ratures become very high, the subter r ene tak.es full a dvanta.ge of this inc r ee aed tempe ra tu re and is able to, in ..

crea,se pr oduc tiv ity ..

The aubte r r-en e dem.on s tr-ate s envi ronmenta.l advanta.ge s ove.r con ....

ventjona.l equ ipm en t wh.en r ock is being drilled;, for example, the loud



" r-






noise arrd dust produced. by rota ry a,nd percussion d ri.l l s do not exist at a s ub te r r erre s i te , The noise LeveI is Ihnited boo that cauaed b'Y the operation of a generator and a c om p r e s so r , and these may be r em ote ly Ioca te d to re duc e their effec ts furthe r. N10 dus t is pro duc e d by the subter rene; thus i this nui san ce a.nd health hazard nonnall y encountered in r'ock d.rilling is eliminated ..



In eval ua ti.ng the sui tab'Hi ty of the aub te rr en e for military drilling a ppl i ca ti.orrs , a typ ica.l c orrrbat sup por t rn i.s s i.on will be uaed. An. anal . sis of the po terit.ia i for 'us ing the subterrene. to s uppo r t this m Is ston should p rovi.de i.nsight irrto the subte rr ene 1 s a ppl i cab i l it.y ..

The emplacement of an explosively p ro du ce d crater to cl ose a b,arr i.e r s ystern wo'ul d be a.n ext.r em el y 'high priority comba t s uppo r t In Ls-

s ion, Such an ob s tacIe , to be effective" rrru s t be on the. or der of 3'0 m (1001 ft) w ide , To p roduc e a c rater of this size, t'he explo s ive charge

w ould p r obabky range between 4~ 500 an.d 91~, 0100 kg (5 and 10 torrs}, To optim.ize ,placernen t, a vertical shaft with a diamet.er 0.£ O. 5 to 1 m

(1 ~ 6 to 3. 4 ft) to, a depth of 6 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft) rnu st be drilled.

_~ Since cl o sure of a ba r rier is .normally done in th.e face of advancing enem y fo rce s , the. ability to, d ri.l l the ern.pl.a cern en t hol e and place the expl.os.ive s within a. ve.ry aho r t t'irn e (3 be 4 h at rri o s t] must exi s t, [Can. the aub terr ene e.ffectivlely e uppor t such a ta ak ?

.Although dev,elope.,rs p r edi.ct tha.t a pene t.r a to r sy s tern could 'b'e d.ev ekoped to drill a hole with a diameter on the or de r of tha t r equi r ed,

s ucb a desig.n is s t il I highl y theoretical. A rm ul ti.pl e penetr ato.r head B'ystem. would be r equj r ed to attain such hol e sizes" and, a.l tho ugh a

subter r ene of this type c an pr obably be developed, devalopm ent co ats

will be high and there 1,S no a s au r an ce of au.c ce s.s ,

If the required di.am e ters could be p rov ided, i.t is arrtic ipaued tha t othe r r equi r em ents might etill rio t be rn e t, Hole d epth s of lZ m (4,0 ft) should pr e.sent no se r ious problem; however, pene tr a tion rates a s high as those requ i r e d to meet the time Lirn i t s seem imp,ossible with the present" arrd ev'en p r ojec ted, s tate - of ... , the .... a rt for the subte r rene ~ Penetratio,n rates of 3 to ,6 m /b (10 to ZO ,ft/h.) are need.ed to pr,od'uce an emplacement 'hole qufckl.y, Such rates can be a chaev ed with [curr,en't

d r sl.Ls and auge r s in. aoil , To c rea te a s imila.r capability .for rock pre-

.sents a m o st d iff i.cul t ohaIlerig e ,

As.swnin,g all of the abov e pr obl.ern s could be ove r com e , two othe r d iffi.cuf tie s woul d still exist for the com bat engin eer , 'To axpe.di.te c,ra.ter p r oduc ti.on , e xpko s i.ves rrru s t be pl.a ced into the drill hole as soon


as drilling is com pl e ted. This 'would be extremely' da.nge rou s and possibly p roh ibi ti.ve with the subte r r ene since the rnat er ia l surrounding


the hole will rerrra in [quite hot for s orne tirne , In a.dd it ion , the maneu~

verability of a large sern i t r'a i.l e r -jmo unted dr il l rig wi.l l g,re,at! y reduce the rapidity with wh i ch the Bite c an be rea cb ed and the subte r r erie

pla ced in ope r ation , In some ca,EU3S, it woul.d be, riece s sary to sel.ect a l es s - than= op tsmum Io cation due to th.e inability of the, unit to r ea ch the best ern pl.a cernen t Io ca t.io.n. 'I'he de g ree to which the drilling un i t can be dec rea aed in size is e xtr ern el y lim. it ed when on e con s i de r s the data p.r es ented in pa ra g raph IV A f.o[r a O. 6-m (2 -ft) ho Ie ..

The sub te r r en e shows p.r orni s e for irnproving the ove r al I drilling ca.pab il i ty of the U. S.. In its pres-en t confi gur a ti.ons it is be s t .... suited for s,p[e,c.jal appl icat.ions in which pa r ti cul.ar pr obl ems a r e encountered

that ca nno t easily be s ol.ved by con ven ttona l rn e thod s , The, rn os t prom ....

ising future u s es a,p'p,ear to be in the a rea s of deep d.:rilling for geo ~

the rrna l energy r e cove rv and r a pid ,drilling' of tunriels through hard.

r o ck, The unique ca pab i.Ii tj.e s of the s ubbe r r-erre 'may even be r equ i r ed

for s pec ia I rntilitary engin,e.[ering task s ; howeve r , it is e xpe cbed tha t the

nurn be r 0'£ such ca aes woul.d be lirnited~


· .



l ~.


The aubte r r ene , in its p r e sent configuration and with it.,s pzoj ected

capabrl iti.e s , doea not rn ee t a significant nurrrbe r of the drilling reqni r ernents of the Army. The aub te r r-en.e devel ope .. rs a re .eo.n.tinuin.g their attempt.s to im.prove its, performance .. , T'he short ... te rrn devel.oprrient goal s for the subte r r en.e do not promise to irnp r o ve signifi'ca.n.tly its, applic,ability to m rl ita.ry r equi rem ente ~

At some later da.te, if sign if ican t impr ovem en ts m the subee rren e have been achi.eve d, the above c orrckus ion should be, r-eeval.ua ted .•



~ .

~ _

_ ,

..._ , _

.1 ....

..:., f~


~ -s.

~ .. . :~






.~ i


: ..

. '


.;; J ....


.. ;.



RE: F·~~E·····R~~:·I E-:----N·· -C·· ·,E····'S·-.l

I , _ ... 1 • . . ',"', •

I.. .Io seph B, riggs •.. M_i~i~ry .En.gine.eri.ng App~1.i~_ati~olns_ 0.£ Commercial .E,xplos iV~5 __ : .An Int.r~oduction" U'. S .. Ar'm y Eng"ine;er Wa ter wa ys E,xp'eriment Sta ti on .Explolsive. Excava tion Re s ea r ch La bor a to r y, Li ve rrn o r e , CA ~l Re.por 1. TR-.E·-7.3 -2 (1973).

2. F'rivate cornrriun i ca ti on r». C,. A .. Ba.ng s ton , L.ASL (l Ju.ly 19'74).

31" Th~ Lo_s Alamos .Rock, ... M e:ltin~ Su.·b·t,c.rr·ene: :E-J'~~- It~~ W~_rk_s; LIDS Al.arn os Scientific Labo ra tor y, Lo s Al.arrros , Nlv1", [urrda ted) jI

4·.. J" W., Neude cke r , A.~ J. Giger and P. E. Azrnstr ong , ]~)e,sign and .D·evelo_plTle_n~ of P r01totype Univer sal E~t_r·ud~s: .. Slu~_!e.rren'e P.~_~.e .... , ~trat~r.81, Lo s Alamos Sc lentif'ic Labo ra tor y, LIQ's. Al.arn os ~ Nlv1, Report LA- 52·0 5, ... MS (19'7.3·).

5. R. J ",. Han ol d, ~L.arge_ Subte.rrene ROlck-Melting Tunnel Excav_a·tion Systems: A plre1iminary S,·tu.dl> Los Al.arn os Scientific La bo ra to r-y, Los Al.arn o s , 'NM, Report LA 5210-MS (.1973).,




s. Rob in s on , RII' M .• Po tte r , B,'II B· .. Mclnteor, J .. C .. Rowley ..

.DI. E. Arm s t r ong R. L .. Mills, and, M" C ~ Smith, A Pr~l~i_n.a.r·y Study 'OJ tJl_e,_ ~N·uclear ,~ubt._e_rr'eneJ Los Alam.os Sci en ti.fi c La.bo r a.tory, Los Alam os , NM J Report LA ... 4,547 (1971) '.

7. RIO G~, G'ido , Sublt:e~r~en,e Pe.n·etration Rate: M~l'tin . .s; Po;w~r Re Iatiolnship; Lo s Alarno s ,Scien-ti.fic Labo ra to r y, Los Alamos" ][\fl\I[ j Repor t .L.A- 52,04-MS (1973).

8-~ :Prospec-t~s ,of_~ubte_~~re,n.e De.'yice~ 0'£ P_C?te,ntial Interest be U. S,"


A~rlrly Cor2s, of .Engineers ~ Los Alamos S,cie:ntifi-c Labor a tory t

Los Alamos, NM, (March. 19'74).,

9'" P'r iva t,e. cornrn un i ca ti.on, D~ L~, S'irns , LASL (2·0 Ap r i] 1973)- ~



.Armstrong, D4' E~" J .. S. Col eman , B. :8 .. Mclnteer~ R. M" Pott.er~ E~ S .. Rob irrs on , ftoc,k M'fjlt.ing .a.s a. Drilling Te~'chni9.ue" LO'iS Alamo,s Scientific Labo rato r y , Los Alamos" NM: Re por t LA~32,431 ('l916Z)Ii!

B'la.ck, D. L~ t .Techl?-ic,al Summa~y: Basic U'ndersta,nding [of .Earth Tunn~11ing by' Meltin,g~ Weetingho'uee Ele'ctric Corporation, Pitts'bu,r,gh, FA, Re.p'ort WA,NL-[11v1E,·~Z841" vei 1 (1[973).

Gi do , R t G'. ~ Descriptilon of Field T~~,s ts flair Ro,ck .... M elting

Los Alarnos Scientific Labo ra tory, Los Alam o s , NM, Re po r t LA ..... 5Z 13,.M,S (1973).


Gido, R,,, G~ J! lllte~n~al Tem.p,era.tur~, Distrib'utilon of a Subterrlene Rock-

~ ~ ~ ~~--

Meltin,g Pe~etrator" Los Alamos Scl.en tifsc La.bo r.a to r y, Los, Alarn os,

l'Id, Report LA~,5Z15~M,S, (19"73)~

Kr upa , M+ C~ .. Phenotn,en~ Ass[ociat.ed, ·wit~ th_e Proce[S;B of Ro~k M[elt~ing; Los Alamos Scientific Labor a to ry Los Alamos" Nrv1 ,t Re po rt ,L,A- 52018,-M,S (1973').

Murphy, D. J. ~ and R. G. Gido, ,Mea t Lltls s Calculations for Sma.Il - Diamete,.r Su'bt,er'rene Flenetrators" Los Alamos Scie,ntific Labora.tor y, Los Alarnos , Nf'j Repor t LA-5207-MS (119'73)~

Neudecke r , J., W., D'e,9i,gn De:slcr'i~pt,io_ll ofMelt~g,-_Consoli,d-ating Proto,type Sublter rene Penet:rab?rs" LOIs Alamos S'cientific Laboratory.

Lo,B Alam o.s , NM~ Repor t LA .... 5Z15,-MS (1'973)~

.. Rowl.e y J" 'C .. , Th,e Su,'bterrene' Pro'gram, L,QS Alamos Scientific Lab ... o ra to r'y, L[QS Alarno s., :NM~ Mini~Review '73 .... 1 (1973).

Sims, D. LI., I_den~,ifi,c,atio_._n ,of Po,ten~tial A .. -,:li~atio_!l~._. flor R_9~ck-,Meltin,', Subte r r ene s , Lo s Alarnos Scientific Labo rato r y, Los Al.arrroa , WJI" Report ,LA,- 5Z06 ... ,MS (1'973),~

Williams ~ R,. E." .De;velop!,?-~n t an,d Co,n,s'tr'uctio'n O:.f a Mo dular iaed Mobile Rock-Melting Subterrene Demons tra tion_Unit, Los Alamos Scien'tifi,c La.bo r-a.to r y , Los Alamoe , Ntvl.,t Repor t LA-5·Z[09-MS (1973}!1

.. ""



.~ .


Ex.plosive Exc.avation Re sea.r ch Labora to ry L-396





E th S · Di ~ F

a rtn Sc ience S I. iv is ton,


D D·, ... L 9'2

..... ~: 1 V1S iLon,~: .. -: .....

n-. J. C,. Rowley

LOB Al.arnos ·S.cientific Laboratory Pt. ,0. Box 1-663

Los, Alamos ,. l'UvI 87544

HaDA (DAEN-Z·S) WA,SH DC 2,0314

H'QDA (DA.EN-.RDM./LTC· Hughe s] WAS,H .DC, 20314

HQDA (.DAEN ... CWE-,a/w. McIntosh) W.ASH DC 201314

U·S Arrny Engineer School ATTN:, Technical Library AT·SE~CTD--.MS Ft. Belvoir, VA Z21Q,60


U'SIAE Waterways, Ex.periIn,ent Statton ATTN: Libr a ry

p~ O~ Box 63·1

Vicks'burg, MS 39'180

U~· S" ··A··· E' -w'~'- . t· .. ' " ':. E . " . Ii...... . t S' ta .. ·· t~·· .'

' .. ;'. ,a, erw,ay,s .' ,.xper11llen 'I.lo'n

A'TTN: S,8tP'L,

USAE W,at'er'wa.ys .Experim'ent St,ation


Defen se Do curn en t Cente r

ATTN: Scientific It 'I'echrrica.l Irifo rrrre t'ion Carn e r on Sta·tion

Al.exandr ia , 'VA ZZ3.l4,




"'Th~ r~Of1: was prepared as an accoun t of wo rk SplDnSlOIfei~' by the U nHtd States 'Gcwtfomenc N eltaer the U ai (,c-d States, IIIDf the Uni~N Sta.t'es, Atomic E~ergy C omrnisslen, nor a ny of tbei:w e'm p']oyees" nor aJ!J)' of ~hewr COil tractors, s:ilJbco,nuactoi'S .. 01" ~nelt em.p'loy~@sj; makes any warrant y. ~'X press or im ph~d . '0 r aISSJUl~($ :iuay :~egaru rniabilit y. O-f respe !lsi hi I1t y fot the accun ... ,,:y • co rapleteness or usefulness of 3,ny in for m~ t ion. ;J p'pJr3 tus. prod uct or process discl.OU1~;1 ~ or represerrts tha 'fs U$C wou ld nol Infr.~,'I1g~ priva~~Jy~ owned rights."