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The Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies (abbreviated as the “Arms Control Journal”) is an inter-

national, open-access academic journal dedicated to Arms Control, Homeland & International Security, Military &
Civil Defenses, Security Sciences and all related fields. (ISSN 2585-2493)

Current military science research topics

S. Alexiou1, R. Argyropoulou2, E. Drakaki3, L. Fragkos-Livanios4, G. Kitsara5, K. Kolovos6, T. Liolios7, G.

Melagraki8, A. Vorvolakos9

part- humans, who find themselves in dangerous sit-

Abstract: Physical Sciences are of paramount im- uations, by machines and are further generally char-
portance in any higher military educational institu- acterized by requirements of very fast response (for
tion as they provide the basis for all military science example when faced with intercepting a large num-
courses. Especially weapons physics and chemistry ber of incoming missiles, even the best trained hu-
are nowadays at the frontiers of science leading to man operator can be easily overmatched) and very
new inventions and discoveries. This report summa- low error tolerances (for instance a friend identified
rizes in random order some very important topics of as foe; the downing of an Iranian civilian Airbus in
current military scientific research focusing in par- 1988 by a military system identifying it as a foe in
ticular on arms control, defense and security science. 1988 is a well-known example). Error tolerances are
also important because countermeasures can easily
Keywords: Military Science, Artificial Intelli- make large error rate solutions very uneconomical
gence, Geographic Information Systems, Radi- (e.g. the enemy may send a large number of projec-
ological Weapons, High Temperature Super- tiles with no payload for each one with a payload to
conductors, Laser Guided Missiles, Explosives exhaust the interceptor defenses). In very broad
Detection, Chemical Weapons Detection, Mili- terms AI or any Data Analytics technique need to
tary Construction Materials, Chemical Warfare perform one or more of the following in military sit-
Agents, Ballistic Trajectories, UAV, CBRN uations:
Published online: August 16, 2018 -classification (e.g. friend or foe, threat or no threat)
Approved for public release, distribution unlimited -deviation detection (from a ‘normal’ or expected
behavior, e.g. a camouflaged object or radar trace)
-prediction or estimation (e.g. projectile trajectory)
I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN MILITARY -clustering, association or link analysis (for instance
APPLICATIONS in cyberattacks)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are increas- AI generally learns from data, in a supervised or un-
ing rapidly in civilian applications because of their supervised method. Once sufficient knowledge is ac-
cost-cutting potential and reliability. Because of quired, the AI can take decisions much like a human.
their disruptive potential, militaries around the world General machine learning techniques involves ‘ea-
have also entered the ‘AI race’ (Horowitz, 2018), ger learners’, that is systems that try to incorporate
(Work, 2015). Military applications have the extra all they have learned in a model: A simple familiar
attractiveness of potentially replacing –at least in example is a linear regression model, though this is
too simplistic for most realistic applications. More

Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad- 6
Assistant Professor at the Hellenic Military Academy &
emy Senior Researcher at the Arms Control Center
Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad- 7
Professor at the Hellenic Military Academy & Director of
emy the Arms Control Center ( Corre-
Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad- sponding Author)
emy 8
Assistant Professor at the Hellenic Military Academy
Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad- 9
Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad-
emy emy & Senior Researcher at the Arms Control Center
Special Scientist (Lecturer) at the Hellenic Military Acad-
S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

involved eager learners are, of course, Artificial list of cases. Other unsupervised learning AI tech-
Neural Networks (ANN) and Support Vector Ma- niques, such as clustering (i.e. automatically identi-
chines (SVM). fying groups with ‘similar’ behavior) may also have
ANNs essentially construct a highly complicated military applications.
nonlinear function that best matches the data they A perhaps relatively less researched subject is coun-
have been trained with. For instance an ANN-based termeasures, e.g. trying to fool the AI so as to cause
firewall has been given a large number of labelled it to take the wrong decision. This could be a chal-
sets of packet characteristics (labelled means some- lenge both for the party trying to fool the AI and the
one else, typically a human, has analyzed them and party responsible for ‘defending’ the AI, especially
‘labelled’ that behavior as ‘attacks’ or ‘normal be- for methods that are not easily understood in human
havior’) and based on this knowledge has con- terms. One possible attack is on the training set, i.e.
structed a model that can decide in real time whether a training set with mislabeled data, which are, how-
a new, unknown packet is ‘normal’ or ‘an attack’ ever, presumed to be fully controlled by the AI pro-
and, in the latter case, block it. In a sense, an ANN gramming party. For instance it is well-known that
is a complex interpolation scheme. SVMs are similar SVM relies quite heavily in data close to the ‘de-
in that a ‘demarcation line’ is constructed between marcation line’, hence a small mislabeling in only a
what is ‘friend ‘ vs. ‘foe’, ‘attack’ vs. ‘non-attack’ small number of data in the training data sets can re-
etc. Other eager learners (Decision Trees), even in sult in a wrong classification and hence decision. A
their most robust form (Random Forests), which try second example would be to force the AI to inter-
to create rules from the data, have usually error rates pret/classify data that are on the border or outside its
that are unacceptably high for military applications. interpolation knowledge base, effectively forcing an
In contrast, ‘lazy learners’ are systems that only store extrapolation by a model that has been constructed
known cases and will bother to classify or else make from an interpolation. Considerations such as the
a decision only when asked to do so. This is similar above emphasize the need for training data control
to how doctors, engineers or lawyers deal with new as well as robustness safeguards.
cases: They try to relate a new case to a known case:
For instance a doctor will try to relate the symptoms II. GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS)
of a new case to a known disease pattern; if success- TECHNOLOGY IN MILITARY OPERATIONS
ful, this newly solved case will be store in his ‘case’ Geo-technologies have widened the use of location-
database, usually the doctor’s memory. In the fire- based information in a military context (Lenagala
wall example above this would mean searching the and Stimers, 2017). Geographic Information System
memory to find the closest case or cases to the one (GIS) is a computer-based tool that analyzes, stores,
presently faced. This is commonly referred to Case manipulates and visualizes geographic information
Based Reasoning (CBR), or, in more jargon terms, in a map. Nowadays in order to effectively manage
‘k-NN’ (meaning the search will be for the k nearest the warfare battlefields, which are changing rapidly,
neighbors). CBR is attractive for humans, who want it is necessary to use dynamic and updated maps.
to understand why a specific decision is taken, the GIS has become a useful tool in military operations
answer being ‘because the present case is close to that has further enhanced their effectiveness
one or more known cases for which was dealt analo- (Longley et al., 2016). The use of GIS not only pro-
gously’. However, CBR typically does not meet the vides far-superior accuracy in analyzing location-
timeliness requirements, e.g. blocking in real time based information than the previously used tech-
without being vulnerable to an overload of infor- niques, but also supports easy information sharing in
mation. For example, in the firewall case the attacker a very short time period (Lenagala and Stimers,
may send a large amount of legitimate traffic to over- 2017). GIS technology, by contributing to Military
whelm a CBR memory search. In addition, eager Decision- Making Processes (MDMP), has become
learners only need to store the model parameters a widely used tool for the militaries of developed
(e.g. slope and intercept for simple linear regres- countries. Many modern armies take advantage of
sion), which is much less information than the entire

Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

GIS in MDMP (all branches of the United States mil- geographic images, maps) to individual users, ac-
itary have a military occupational specialty focused cording to their rank and operational duties, for car-
on geospatial data analysis - e.g. the U.S. Army’s rying out successfully the planned operations (Satya-
12Y-Geospatial Engineering). In addition, commer- narayana and Yogendran 2009). In addition, effec-
cial GIS software for military-specific applications tive GIS tools, for the army land managers, have
has been developed and employed along with digital been suggested to monitor environmental dynamics
databases to provide customized digital maps of var- and plan military training activities (Singer et al.,
iable scale, content and symbolization designed for 2012).
military units demands (Fleming et al., 2009). Mili- Similar inputs are required in air operations along
tary forces are using GIS in a variety of ways includ- with precise height information for the targeting pro-
ing cartography, battle field management, terrain cess. GIS and GPS (Global Positioning System) sup-
analysis, remote sensing, military installation man- port military leaders by reducing uncertainty in deci-
agement and monitoring of possible terrorist activity sion-making. For example, pilots receive detailed
(Satyanarayana and Yogendran 2009). data relayed to the location of the target, plus data of
This short review demonstrates the importance of meteorological information, which enhance visibil-
spatial information that offers GIS technology to ity, and pre- warns them about possible changes,
MDMP for the field commander or the command which may occur during an aerial activity (Satyana-
headquarters for land, sea or air based operations. rayana and Yogendran 2009).
The spatial data are of crucial importance to the mil- At sea, when there is no visual aid, naval command-
itary commander in order to take well-informed de- ers depend largely on indirect methods, to navigate
cisions. GIS and digital mapping occupy military vessels. Global Positioning System (GPS) provides
center stage in activities such as battlefield simula- the means of determining vessel's position at sea.
tion, logistics management, command control, mis- Electronic Chart Display and Information System
sion briefing and communications planning. Use of (ECDIS), helps the navigator to navigate the ship
GIS in the management of military bases could re- safely in all weather conditions, while Electronic
duce base operation and maintenance costs, improve Navigation Chart (ENC) is a replacement of the con-
mission effectiveness and provide rapid modeling ventional paper chart, which is used as tool for nav-
capabilities for analyzing alternative strategies. igation, providing inputs for detailed information
Weather plays a dominant role in the battlefield ei- about depth, hazards and navigational aids within the
ther on the land, or in the sea or in the air. Since at area. ECDIS is the real time GIS application in ma-
times, weather conditions may determine the success rine environment and ENC is the database for GIS
or the failure of a military operation, real time operations. In addition, ECDIS can be used to other
weather information is essential for field command- naval operations using layers related to oceano-
ers. Thus, knowledge of information regarding cloud graphic and meteorological conditions to provide the
coverage, wind conditions, visibility, temperature means for anti-submarine or beach landing (of armed
and other related parameters are of high importance forces) operations (Satyanarayana and Yogendran
in any operation. The computer based GIS software 2009).
systems can provide automated weather information In the present digital era, GIS is an excellent tool for
to military forces along with other characteristics military commanders and its use revolutionizes the
such as the terrain analysis (eg the Digital Elevation way in which military forces operate and function.
Model - DEM). (Satyanarayana and Yogendran Although, the potential of some GIS applications has
2009), already been developed, the future of GIS in military
In land based military operations, terrain conditions will be determined by the way that the military units
and elevation along with vegetation cover, road net- will accept GIS and utilize it in the battlefield oper-
works, and communication lines must be available ations.
for effectively guiding troops, restoring communica-
tion in the area of operations or sending back-ups.
An open GIS approach allows limited access (e.g.

Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

III. RADIOLOGICAL WEAPONS EFFECTS logical attacks (the material of this section is also in-
Military Science has always been very concerned cluded in a research proposal written by the Arms
about the effects and defenses of radiological weap- Control Center).
ons. Radiological terrorism has been the focus of in- The Hotspot Health Physics codes, which are used
tense study (Ferguson, et al., 2003) due to wide- by the Arms Control Center in the study of radiolog-
spread fears that nuclear materials could be used as ical weapons, were created to provide emergency re-
radiological weapons (dirty bombs). As early as sponse personnel and emergency planners with a
1987, it became apparent that even medical radioac- fast, field-portable set of software tools for evaluat-
tive devices could be used as radiological weapons, ing incidents involving radioactive material. The
when scavengers broke into an abandoned cancer software is also used for safety-analysis of facilities
clinic in Goiânia (the capital of the central Brazilian handling nuclear material. Hotspot codes are a first-
state of Goiás) and stole a cancer treatment device order approximation of the radiation effects associ-
which contained significant amounts of radioactive ated with the atmospheric release of radioactive ma-
cesium-137 (Wikipedia - Goiânia Accident, n.d.). terials. Its mathematical model is a hybrid of the
According to the IAEA report (IAEA, 1988), after well-established Gaussian plume model, widely
removing a metal canister, which contained 1,375 used for initial emergency assessment or safety-anal-
curies of Cesium-137 from a teletherapy machine, ysis planning. Virtual source terms are used to model
the burglars broke open the canister revealing the Cs- the initial atmospheric distribution of source mate-
137 source, despite the fact that it had been doubly rial following an explosion, fire, resuspension, or
sealed within two stainless steel capsules. The med- user-input geometry. Hotspot takes into account the
ical radioactive material in question was in the form following crucial parameters of the attack:
of highly soluble Cesium Chloride salt (three times A. Wind speed
denser than water) which weighted 93 grams inside Wind speed a crucial parameter of a radiological at-
the canister. Handling the source resulted in distrib- tack. In fact, if we assume that all other meteorolog-
uting some radioactive material among friends and ical parameters are constant and that the radiological
family members. Eventually, the canister and the material has a relatively large half-life then the dose
source ended up in a junkyard, whose owner cut received at a certain distance downwind from ground
open the source selling the glowing Cesium Chloride zero (GZ) is inversely proportional to wind speed
powder to curious buyers. A portion of the radioac- while the area receiving a certain dose is also a rap-
tive powder was carried away by the wind contami- idly decreasing function of speed.
nating the environment. According to the Brazilian
Nuclear Energy Commission team (IAEA, 1988) B. Stability Category
200 people were contaminated, 28 people suffered Meteorologists distinguish several states of the local
radiation burns, 4 people died and one person had his atmosphere: A, B, C, D, E, F. These states can be
arm amputated. Decontamination operations gener- tabulated as a function of weather conditions, wind
ated some 3,500 cubic meters of radioactive waste speed and time of day. According to the stability cat-
which also included debris from building demoli- egory the attack can result in a wide spectrum of le-
tions. Finally, about 87% of the radioactive material thal effects. Therefore the attacker will certainly take
was recaptured while there were devastating effects that into account, just as it happens by war-planners,
on the local economy and quality of life. The Goiânia so that the lethal effects are maximized.
accident indicates that terrorist radiological weapons
C. Inversion Layer
can result in widespread radiological contamination
and many casualties. The Arms Control Center is At first sight, it seems perfectly reasonable that tem-
particularly interested in the effects of radiological perature should decrease with altitude. However,
weapons presenting here briefly the parameters of due to various atmospheric phenomena there is
the computer code HOTSPOT (Homann, 2015; sometimes an altitude at which the temperature gra-
Homann & Aluzzi, 2013) used in simulating radio- dient is inverted (temperature begins to increase with
increasing altitude). The inversion layer acts as a
blanket that limits the vertical mixing of the released
Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

radioactive material. Inversions can spread over the larger the dimensions of the initial cloud and,
large areas or be quite localized, and can last for thus the smaller the concentrations of the radioactive
many days or be of only a few hours duration. The particles in the air and on the ground.
region below the inversion layer is also referred to as H. Timing
the mixing layer. The mixing layer height ranges
typically from 100 m to 3,000 m and can signifi- The time of attack is indeed a very decisive parame-
cantly increase or decrease air-concentration values ter, which needs special attention. During daytime
and the respective lethal probabilities. many people will be in the streets and the radioactive
plume will be easily mixed with other gases which
D. Source term form the usual urban pollution. The cloud will not be
According to the Gaussian plume model, after a ra- easily detected but this is not the case with the ex-
diological explosion, the air concentration, as well as plosion itself. Early detection can help since it may
the dose received by an individual downwind, is di- provide some warning to the public which can avoid
rectly proportional to the source term (i.e. the quan- inhalation of the cloud by finding shelter in nearby
tity of the radioactive material). Therefore, all the re- buildings (or staying indoors if are not caught in the
sults of this proposal will scale linearly with the mass streets). At nighttime a radiological attack against ur-
(or the activity) of the source. ban targets would cause fewer casualties as most
people will be indoors during the plume passage and
E. Deposition Velocity
the population density in the streets will be very
The heat and smoke of a radiological dispersion de- small.
vice (RDD) will lift small particles of radioactive
material up into the air which, according to their na- I. Target Conditions
ture, will settle to the ground as they are carried It is common sense that the terrorists will choose a
along by the wind contaminating the ground surface. densely populated metropolitan area so that the le-
Large particles will contaminate the immediate vi- thal effects of their attack are maximized. Once we
cinity of the explosion while smaller (fine and have estimated the lethal areas then we can simply
mostly respirable) ones will travel large distances or multiply the population density by that area to esti-
will rise up at high altitudes until they are deposited mate the number of casualties. Warning is an ex-
on the ground. The velocity at which this deposition tremely effective countermeasure. If the public has
takes place is called deposition velocity. Obviously, early enough warning it can simply evacuate the area
non-respirable material will have a much larger dep- thus avoiding any exposure to the lethal effects of the
osition velocity than respirable ones. attack. Even on a very short notice the public can
simply remain indoors, have recourse to shelters or
F. Altitude of Explosion (Height of Burst)
avoid being in the streets at the time of attack.
The effect of altitude is clear and predictable. All rel- All the above parameters are taken into account by
evant simulations indicate that radioactive plumes HOTSPOT simulations conducted at the Arms Con-
resulting from ground explosions yield higher doses trol Center to estimate doses and ground contamina-
than those resulting from high altitude ones. All sim- tion (surface concentrations) after a radiological at-
ulations show perfectly clear that a ground explosion tack. The importance of such military scientific stud-
is by far the most lethal choice of a terrorist and we ies cannot be overestimated as they can predict the
will focus our study on it. destructive effects or RDDs and suggest possible
G. Explosive Energy mitigation measures (e.g. evacuation and decontam-
The geometry of the radioactive plume as well as its ination procedures).
granularity depend on the energy of the explosion.
The more energetic the explosion the larger the tem-
peratures attained by the radioactive material and
thus the finer the particles generated by the explosion
(molecular bonds break more easily at high temper-
atures). Moreover, the more energetic the explosion
Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

IV.MILITARY APPLICATIONS OF HIGH HTS can provide solutions to specific challenges re-
TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS lated to military/space environment (US Congress
Office of Technology Assessment , 1990):
A. Introduction
• Light weight: eliminating bulky liquid helium re-
Superconducting materials’ unique properties enable frigeration systems reduce the size and weight of su-
significant improvements in commercial as well as perconducting equipment providing flexibility and
military applications compared to conventional sys- mission capability of the vehicles on which they are
tems in electronic warfare equipment and high deployed.
power applications. These properties include (Kolli, • Ruggedness: the military superconducting equip-
et al., 2017): ment should continue to operate during battle condi-
• Zero resistance to direct current tions, and to be rugged enough to withstand vibra-
• Extremely high current carrying density tion, acceleration and other stresses.
• Extremely low resistance at high frequencies • Radiation hardness: space craft do not have the
• Extremely low signal dispersion protective layer of the Earth’s atmosphere to absorb
• High sensitivity to magnetic field the radiation from solar flares and cosmic rays.
• Exclusion of externally applied magnetic field • Low power consumption.
• Rapid single flux quantum transfer In the following section some of the main military
• Close to speed of light signal transmission applications of HTS so far are discussed.
Superconductivity brings sensitivity, accuracy and
performance advantages. Superconducting wires, B. HTS military applications
tapes and coils can be used in magnets, generators, 1. HTS cables, wires and tapes.
magnetic energy storage, AC transmission lines, etc. Due to higher transmission capacity, lower losses,
During the 1970s and until the end of 1990s there and reduced weight and operating costs, HTS cables
were several important achievements in the super- are superior to conventional copper wires for almost
conducting technology. Some of the main applica- all applications. Electrical losses (including those of
tions in the electric power sector which were accom- cryogenic systems) are reduced to one tenth when
plished using liquid helium, i.e. low-temperature su- compared to losses in the AC- copper cables and to
perconductors (LTS) technology, are: AC genera- zero when compared to the DC- copper cables.
tors, motors, AC transmission lines, Magnetic En- American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has
ergy Storage (SMES), transformers, etc. During this scaled up the cost-effective production of Yttrium-
period, USA were reluctant to invest in new technol- based 2nd generation superconducting wires with
ogy, but other countries had pushed forward pro- nominal performance nearing 100 A (Fleshler, et al.,
grams for the development of superconducting gen- 2009). 2G wires present improved performance and
erators and other electrical power applications. are used in the production of HTS electrical power
In 1986, the discovery of high temperature supercon- devices (Curcic & Wolf, S.A. , 2005).
ductors (HTS), i.e. oxide based ceramic materials 2. HTS motors and generators
demonstrating superconductivity above 35K, and the Large capacity HTS motors can be used on warships
following announcement, in 1987, of cuprate super- and merchant vessels for electric propulsion (Jun, Z.,
conductors functioning above 77K, brought a sharp et al., 2012) as well as aircraft propulsion (Masson,
revitalizing interest in the applications of supercon- et al., 2005). In 2009, the US Navy announced the
ductivity. USA took a leading role in the research successful power- test of a superconducting motor
and development of power systems with Department producing 49,000 hp. The motor was jointly devel-
of Energy (DoE) and Defense Advanced Research oped by Northrop Grumman and AMSC. Incorporat-
Agency (DARPA) programs to facilitate military ap- ing coils of HTS wire, the motor weighs about 75
plications of superconductivity, aiming at prevailing tons compared to 300 tons for a tradition copper
in the field of superconducting military applications wound electric motor and is able to carry 150 times
as they had fallen far behind in comparison with Ja- the current of similar-sized conventional motors
pan and USSR (Anon, 1988) used on the first two DDG-1000 series destroyers.
This technology will make ships more fuel-efficient
Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

and free up space for additional war-fighting capa- to military applications. Nonetheless, R&D in this
bility (Patel, 2009; Pearson, 2009). The advantages field is ongoing to exploit the numerous capabilities
of HTS generators make them promising for appli- of this technology. Superconducting distribution
cations on military platforms. These advantages in- grids on ships, Integrated Power Systems and Next
clude: ability to carry high electrical current densi- Generation Electric Machines, are some examples of
ties; low noise; excellent stability in transient phe- current research programs (Hebner, et al., 2017;
nomena; high performance under partial load; mini- Miller, et al., 2013; AMSC, 2017)
mum maintenance requirements (Oberly, 2006).
3. Mine protection
Moving through the magnetic field of the earth, steel V. LASER TECHNOLOGY IN LASER GUIDED MISSILES
ships develop a low level magnetic charge which can Laser technology has observed a great advancement
be detected by magnetic sensors and magnetically over the last few decades. This technology is used
activated underwater mines. For this reason, most for a wide range of applications including medical
naval ships are equipped with large copper degauss- sciences, military, industrial manufacturing, elec-
ing coil systems to “neutralize” their magnetic sig- tronics, holography, spectroscopy, astronomy and
nature. In July 2008, the U.S. Navy launched a rev- much more.
olutionary technology as a counter-mine tool. Utiliz- Military officials have indubitably always been in-
ing HTS materials, a degaussing coil was produced terested in laser technology, even before the first la-
and installed on the USS Higgins (DDG 76). The ser was invented. Especially, since these devices can
new system is cooled by a cryogenic compressor and bring technological revolution in warfare, when used
can carry high current densities (at a factor of 100- as rangefinders, target designation, sensors, active il-
200 times higher than that of traditional conductors) lumination, data relay devices, directed energy
at lower voltage. This results into smaller footprints weapons, weather modifier and much more
and improved efficiency. In addition, HTS degauss- (Kaushal, 2017).
ing systems are 50-80% lighter than copper based In case of global military conflict, the role of anti-
systems, which translates into fuel saving or oppor- missile defense becomes very important. Although
tunities to add different payloads (Vietti, 2009; anti-missile defense with a hundred percent reliabil-
AMSC, 2008). ity was not reached by any country, huge efforts are
4. Communications put into this area. In addition, in the battlefield envi-
HTS unique features make superconducting elec- ronment, the timelines between identifying, tracking
tronics most promising for satellite communications and shooting are very critical to ensure the continued
as they offer the advantages of ultra-low signal dis- success of the warfighters. This requires improved
sipation and distortion along with intrinsic (quan- pointing, targeting and designating capabilities dur-
tum) accuracy. Superconducting devices present in- ing military operations. For those purposes, early at-
herent tolerance to high radiation environments tack detection systems, controllable rockets, high
which is a requirement for satellites and battlefield power lasers are used.
systems. Superconductor RF filters with superior in- Missiles or bombs can be guided and controllable via
terference cancellation have been employed in U.S. a laser designator device (LTD), which calculates
cellular base stations, enabling wider range and relative position to a highlighted target. One of the
fewer dropped calls. For defense applications, 4th earliest successful smart bombs developed and oper-
generation All-Digital Receivers (ADRs) take ad- ationally used were the Laser Guided Bombs
vantage of the HTS ability of analog-to-digital con- (LGBs). Laser designators used in LGBs give the
version and present flexibility in the signal pro- precise marking of ground based or airborne targets
cessing that detects, characterizes and decodes in- especially for small-sized and well-defended targets.
coming RF signals (Hole, 2006; CCAS, n.d.). LGBs proved to offer a much higher degree of accu-
C. Conclusion racy than unguided weapons, but without the ex-
pense, complexity, and limitations of guided air-to-
Years of research and a number of successful pro-
ground missiles
jects have proved that HTS can bring a lot of benefits
Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
Page 7 of 22
S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

Most of the LTDs used in LGWs are based on Nd:

Laser-guided weapons (LGWs) were first developed YAG that emits short coded pulses at 1.06 μm wave-
in the United Kingdom and United States in the early length (Kaushal, 2017). The advantage of using solid
1960s. They made their practical debut in Vietnam state lasers is that their power levels can be increased
(Spencer C.T, 2011). In the wake of this success, substantially when Q-switching is used to achieve
other nations, specifically the Soviet Union, France, short pulse lengths.
and Great Britain, began developing similar weap- Thriving to protect the soldier’s eye in a battlefield,
ons in the late 1960s and early 1970s, while US lasers with a wavelength greater than 1.4 μm is pre-
weapons were refined based on combat experience. ferred as these radiations are absorbed in the cornea
During the 1982 Falklands War LGWs were used, of the eye and consequently, cannot reach sensitive
though not on a large scale, by the British forces retina. Therefore, eye-safe laser such as Er:glass
(Hempstead, 2005). The first large scale use of smart solid state laser, operating at 1.5 μm or CO2 operat-
weapons came in the early 1990s during Operation ing at 10.6 μm with a pulse energy less than 10 mJ
Desert Storm, while later there were used in large are a preferred choice for day or night-time opera-
numbers during the 1999 Kosovo War (Spencer, tions (Kaushal, 2017). Other eye-safe lasers are Ra-
2015). Current laser guided missiles work in one of man-shifted Nd:YAG lasers and Er:fiber lasers
two ways: whose operating wavelength is in the range of 1.53
A) Beam riding is based on a signal that is pointed to 1.55 μm.
towards the target. The signal does not have to be Several types of LGWs are: Maverick (Maini A. K.,
powerful, as it is not necessary to use it for tracking 2013), Hellfire (Aftergood S., 2011), Laser-Guided
as well. First, an aiming station in the launching area Bombs (GBU-12 Paveway II, GBU-16 Paveway II,
directs a laser beam at the enemy aircraft or tank. Paveway III) (Kopp C. 2007), AGM-123 Skipper II,
Then, the missile is launched and at some point after and the Griffin Laser Guided Bomb (Maini A. K.,
launch is “gathered” by the laser beam when it flies 2013).
into it. From this stage onwards, the missile attempts
to keep itself inside the beam with the help of a sen- Precision accuracy depends upon target size, laser
sor at missile’s tail, while the aiming station keeps beam divergence and designation range. In order to
the beam pointing at the target. The missile, con- improve the accuracy of LTDs, laser beam diver-
trolled by a computer inside it, “rides” the beam to gence has to be chosen very carefully so as to avoid
the target (Maini A. K., 2013). beam divergence losses along the path, between the
B) The second type uses a laser for guidance is laser source and the target.
technically called the semi active homing (Maini A. Although LGWs offers high precision operational
K., 2013). Somebody, it could be the pilot or a sol- flexibility and remarkable capability of effective
dier on the ground, shines a laser beam on the target. lock-on after launch targeting, there are some disad-
B1) A pulse repetition frequency code is used for vantages, resulting the missiles to veer off course
the laser designator, the laser spot tracker, and the and potentially causing costly damage to unintended
laser guided weapon. Each must use the same pulse targets:
pattern (same code) when operating together. Before  The primary limitation is that the detector of the
dropping the bomb, the bomber aircraft computer LGWs needs to be able to see the laser spot at most
tells the missile's control system the specific pulse of the times and definitely short of hitting the target
pattern. Once the bomb is in the air, the control sys-  They are no good in the rain, fog, dust, smoke or in
tem is only interested in laser energy with this pulse weather conditions where there is sufficient cloud
pattern. The laser pulses are encoded to reduce the cover.
risk of jamming or spoofing.  The laser guidance is not useful against targets that
B2) Τhe reflected and scattered target’s light is do not reflect much laser energy, including those
captured by a special system and sensors installed on coated in special paint which absorbs laser energy.
the weapon that computes the necessary flight path Special GPS-guided bombs are designed by using a
corrections and sends back the control signal to fo- system (JDAM) based on high-precision gyroscopes
cus the weapon on the target.
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Current Military Science Research Topics

to monitor the speed and direction of the bomb and combination of odors that make up an explosive or
an inertial guidance system. This system can take narcotic (Johnston, et al., 1998). Canines combine
control of the bomb if the GPS signal is lost for any selectivity with mobility and independent thinking,
reason (Kopp C, 2014). qualities that rank them as the current best method
for real-time detection of explosives, narcotics and
other potentially hazardous substances. Their ex-
VI. DETECTION OF EXPLOSIVES AND DANGEROUS traordinary ability to smell inspired the development
CHEMICAL AGENTS USING ANIMALS AND of numerous detection techniques that are available
Detection and identification of chemicals that can The use of dogs as detectors is based on the well-
pose a threat is pivotal for the security of personnel, established reliability and the impressive selectivity
material and installations. Concern regarding illegal and sensitivity of their sense of smell. The olfactory
trafficking of hidden explosive material, dangerous capabilities of the canines stem from the high num-
chemicals or narcotics on commercial airlines has ber of olfactory receptors they possess, the large
become more and more intense. On-site explosives number of specific neurons in the brain, anatomical
detection is major issue for operational security in structures resulting in unique nasal airflow patterns
regions with military activities -currently or in the and fluid dynamics that increase air retention while
past- in order to prepare efficient decontamination. sniffing (Tomsic, 2013). These attributes combined
Terrorist or criminal attacks against civilian or mili- with the high intelligence and ability to receive train-
tary targets using chemical and explosive materials ing and the positive attitude to coexist and work with
pose a significant threat in every country, leading to humans, render the dogs ‘the tool of choice’ when it
an urgency to increase the capacity of agencies in- comes to detection of any kind. On the negative side,
volved in counter-terrorism activities and infrastruc- the cost for a special canine unit is high, even with
ture protection to identify chemicals of particular high operational standards. The purchase of a single
risk of diversion and misuse by criminals and terror- trained dog costs between 8000 to 15000 $ in addi-
ist groups. tion to medical expenses, continuous training in spe-
The issue of detection of dangerous chemicals has cific training camps, acquisition and handling of the
been an active area of research. Chemical explo- chemical agents for the training, transportation of K-
sives, agents of chemical warfare and narcotics are 9 units for a 10-year service. To this, one should add
the main targets of detection practices during war or the cost of hiring and training of specialists such as
peace. Despite their differences from the point of dog handlers, trainers and vets. Another negative
view of their chemical structure, all these com- point is the fact that dogs can get tired or bored and
pounds can be traced through their vapors or as when that happens the effectiveness of their detec-
traces -solid or liquid particles- on air or surfaces tion output is diminished (Gazit & Terkel, 2003).
(Bogue, 2015). This article reviews the different ap- There are several animal species that possess espe-
proaches, the use of trained animals or the use of de- cially sensitive olfactory systems and are capable of
tector devices built for that purpose. Traditional and detecting minute concentrations of chemicals.
modern practices are presented as well as future pos- Properly trained and motivated, individuals of these
sibilities and technologies. species can become valuable allies in the fight of de-
tecting dangerous substances in a variety of circum-
A. Using animals stances. Two species that show promising potential
1. Dogs are rats and bees. Even if they seem unlikely candi-
Traditional detection of narcotics and explosive va- dates for the task, given their completely different -
pors and traces relies on the olfactory system of compared with dogs- relationship to humans and
highly trained dogs (Canis familiaris) and it is still their cognitive capacities and intelligence, these ani-
the most effective and efficient method. Used ubiq- mals have extremely acute sense of smell, in many
uitously by law enforcement, national security and cases surpassing canines. Further, their small size
private agencies for detection, sniffing dogs do not and availability can be an advantage in a number of
just react to a particular chemical smell, but to a cases.
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Current Military Science Research Topics

2. Rats by extending its tongue in order to receive the ex-

Giant African pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) pected reward, commonly sugar water. That motion
is the largest of the muroids. Within the past decade, of the proboscis is detected from the imaging sensor
giant pouched rats have been used successfully to de- inside the apparatus and it gives a positive signal.
tect landmines. In Mozambique, an African country The apparatus, benchtop or portable, can be used as
littered with land mines, trained rats were used to a field detector, since the presence of target vapors
search for explosives (Poling, et al., 2011). The pro- in detectable concentration would elicit PER
ject was designed and directed by APOPO, a Belgian (Bromenshenk, et al., 2015).
nongovernmental organization based in Tanzania. The use of free-flying honey bees is suited for open
The main advantage of using rats instead of dogs is field detection and it is based on the monitoring of
the cost. For the same decontamination mission, it is the flying pattern of a swarm of trained bees. Uni-
cheaper to utilize rats. The rodents are easier to versity of Montana researchers in Missoula have
maintain, to feed and to transport, are available in trained honeybees as an efficient and low-cost means
high numbers and can reach in places where dogs to screen large areas for hidden explosives.
cannot due to their smaller size. A rat weight is too Landmines and buried unexploded ordnance leak
low to trigger an anti-personnel land-mine. chemicals into the environment (Carlsten, et al.,
3. Bees 2011). Trained honeybees swarm areas where explo-
During the 20th century, there was scientific debate sive residue is present. The location of the residue
regarding the olfactory ability of honey bees (Apis can be mapped to provide a picture of the extent, lo-
mellifera). Supporters of Dance Language Theory cation, and density of bomb-contaminated areas.
suggested that bee foraging is a socially coordinated A hive of 40,000 to 65,000 bees costs around U.S.
behavior (Von Frisch, 1974). The Dance Language $100 and can be trained in as little as two hours
was the mainstream paradigm, leading to an under- (MacDonald, 2003). Bees are indigenous to a wide
estimate of the true olfactory capability of bees. It is range of climates and beekeeping is a world-wide
now known that bees can be trained through sent practice. Training a hive is a straight forward pro-
(Wells & Wenner, 1973). This fact offers the oppor- cess. A sugar-water feeder and traces of explosives
tunity to harness the olfactory chemosensory ability are set up near a colony. As the bees feed, they begin
of bees. Bees are able to recognize a vast array of to associate the explosive's odor with the food
different compounds at vapor concentrations on the source. Bees also train each other. The main expense
scale of parts per trillion, even parts per quadrillion of such an endeavor would be the cost required for
(MacDonald, 2003). Training bees is similar to train- setting up a monitoring system, by means of laser-
ing dogs and involves conditioning so that the insect guided motion detectors LIDAR (Light Detection
would associate an odor, such as explosive materials And Ranging) combined with digital imaging analy-
or other chemical substances, with a reward, such as sis or even Harmonic radar technology. The moni-
sugar. toring system would follow the swarm’s movements.
Bees may be used as living chemical biosensors in The location of the residue can be mapped to provide
two ways: constrained in a laboratory-based assay a picture of the extent, location, and density of
termed the Proboscis Extension Reflex system bomb-contaminated areas.
(PERs) or as traceable, free-flying biosensors in the B. Purpose-built sensor device Technology
field (Bromenshenk, et al., 2015).
As an assay, a number of bees are constrained inside Operational requirements for chemical detection es-
an apparatus, immobilized in situ, actually glued on tablished the need for state of the art, portable chem-
the spot on stable cassette and bee-holder. The appa- ical agent detectors. In wartime, the use of animals
ratus contains motion devices or simply a camera is impractical in situations where units or individuals
and image processing to monitor the motion of every operate in enemy territory. A soldier or a unit cannot
insect’s tongue. A trained bee would present a Pro- have its own bee hive sentinels. The same applies for
boscis Extension Response (PER) when it smells a routine everyday check of installations, where the
predetermined odor (e.g. TNT). PER is a response use of dogs would disrupt the function of the opera-
due to conditioning. The insect is reacting to smell
Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

tion or it might cause harm to the animal and the han- column of the chromatographer and then identified
dler, for example during the examination of a build- in the mass spectrometer. Electrospray ionization
ing that is a suspected site of a nerve agent attack. In MS, usually coupled with an HPLC front-end sepa-
similar situations, portable detector devices would rator, is similar to GS-MS but more sensitive. Sev-
be the tool of choice. Such devices should be able to eral instruments allow another step of process, tan-
detect the target substances directly, by means of dem MS or MS/MS, where the ions produced during
their chemical nature, or through a characteristic the ionization of the initial sample are filtered based
property, such as their electromagnetic response to on their m/z value. The selected, user-defined ions
an external stimulus or their spectrum. Sensitivity, are passed to a collision cell. Within the collision cell
selectivity, miniaturization and ruggedization are the precursor ions also known as "Parent ions" are
necessary qualities for a military purpose detector bombarded with an inert gas (Xe, Ar) and are further
device. broken down into different charged and mass prod-
Technology-based detection of chemicals includes uct or daughter ions due to Collision Induced Disso-
vapor and trace detection techniques (chemilumines- ciation. These product ions are then run through an
cence, mass spectrometry, ion mobility spectrome- additional quadrupole to further separate the ions
try, electrochemical methods and micromechanical which is set to monitor specific ion fragments. This
sensors, such as microcantilevers) and bulk detection process can be repeated several times in order to get
techniques (neutron techniques, nuclear quadrupole highly specific readings.
resonance, x-ray diffraction imaging, millimeter- Mass spectrometers have excellent specificity for
wave imaging, terahertz imaging and laser tech- identifying different ions, and some systems have
niques). sub-attomole sensitivity. However, they are bulky,
1. Spectroscopic approaches for the detection of non-portable and they need power supply and labor-
explosives atory grade installation along with various additional
equipment in order to operate such as inert gas sup-
a) Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) ply, pumps and dedicated computer interface. As a
The molecules of the air sample are ionized and method, is quite an expensive one and requires
passed to a detector. The period of time the ion flies maintenance and university-trained operators. As a
in the tube, termed drift time is a function of its mass detector system, it is valuable only for screening
and its charge. The mass to charge ratio is deter- high profile installations.
mined. By determining the mass-to-charge ratio, it is
possible to identify components within the sample c) Old factory type sensors
through comparison with known standards. An IMS There is potential in a biomimetic approach, in
spectrum is a plot of ion current versus time, with which research inspired from nature lead to the de-
different peaks representing different specific ions. velopment of man-made systems that copy olfactory
mechanisms. Of special interest is the mimicking of
b) Mass spectrometry (MS) biological olfaction for the construction of biosen-
Samples are drawn from the air into a mass spec- sors based on animal olfactory macromolecules -
trometer where molecules are first ionized and then such as odorant-binding proteins - for chemical mo-
passed through a magnetic filter, which allows ions lecular sensing. Olfactory receptor neurons of the fly
to be identified based on their charge-to-mass (m/z) Drosophila melanogaster were probed against a
ratio. In some systems, the MS is connected to a number of chemical substances (Marshall, et al.,
front-end gas chromatograph. There are several 2010). Detection of explosives by means of direct
types of mass spectrometers with different principles stimulation of olfactory sensory neurons has been re-
of operation (Gross, 2017). In time of flight mass ported previously (Corcellia, et al., 2010). A biomi-
spectrometry, the determination of m/z is achieved metic odorant sensor which co-expresses olfactory
thought the value of time the ionized molecule spent receptor genes and a companion receptor Or83b in
across the tube of the spectrometer. In Gas Chroma- living cells was constructed (Liu, et al., 2013), in or-
tography-MS chemical species are separated in the der to classify unknown volatile chemicals and de-
tect specific types of illicit substances. Goldsmith
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Current Military Science Research Topics

and co-workers (Goldsmith, et al., 2011) reported the The detection method is based on monitoring the
manufacture of a nanoelectronic interface compris- changes in surface stress, bulk stress and mass of mi-
ing of mouse olfactory receptor proteins (ORs) cou- cro-cantilever (MC), which are caused by the ad-
pled with carbon nanotube transistors. The resulting sorption of target molecules on the chemically mod-
device transduce signals associated with odorant ified surface of the cantilever. The change in cantile-
binding to ORs in the gas phase under ambient con- ver deflection or change in vibrational amplitude is
ditions. Proteins and neurons from different species most commonly measured by a laser reflected off the
can be employed (pig, worm, wasp, dog). backside of the cantilever and onto a position sensi-
tive quadrant photodiode. Deflection can also be
d) Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) measured by the change of capacitance or resistance
These are miniature detecting devices allowing the of the cantilever. A more complex device that com-
measurement of minute difference of several physi- bines MEMS with the capacitance of CMOS (com-
cal properties of the system by means of optical or plementary metal-oxide semiconductor) is presented
electrical detection. The change in the property un- by Tomsic (Tomsic, 2013). The apparatus is subse-
der examination is caused by the adsorption of target quently compared to a sniffer dog.
molecules on the appropriately coated surface of a
cantilever. Subsequently, identification and quantifi- C. Conclusions
cation of the alteration lead to the identification and
The diversity of cases that require accurate and quick
quantification of the target chemical compound.
detection of potentially dangerous chemicals has led
(1) Surface acoustic wave sensors to the conception and development of a variety of
techniques, all of whom are useful, depending on the
Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors detect a
circumstances. The combination of several ap-
chemical by measuring the disturbance it causes in
proaches increases reliability. The use of traditional
sound waves across a tiny quartz crystal. The SAW
practices, such as the use of detector canines have
sensor is a small, piezoelectric quartz crystal that is
historically proven its value and they will continue
coated with a thin film of a proprietary polymer
for the foreseeable future. Continues study on the
which selectively absorbs the gas or gases of interest.
field ensures the optimization of the security capa-
An acoustic wave is generated on the surface of the
bilities by means of new applications and technolo-
piezoelectric substrate material. If a vapor is ab-
gies. Increase demand can only lead to cost reducing
sorbed, the properties of the wave alter (e.g. ampli-
practices, leaving space for the development of more
tude, phase, harmonic content, etc.). The measure-
exotic and imaginative methods such as the use of
ment of changes in the surface wave characteristics
trained insects for monitoring potential security and
is indicative of the vapor and thus can be used for the
environmental threats. Further, the development of
substance identification. Currently a device named
portable detector devices will allow the extended use
Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) uses surface
of the relevant technology leading to real-time accu-
acoustic wave technology to detect the chemical
rate chemical detection to an individual level. To that
warfare agents. Eight SAW crystals, each coated direction, the biomimicry of the olfactory tools from
with a different polymer, form the chemical sensor several animal species seems very promising. As a
array in the detector unit. Each polymer is specifi- closure note, the advance on the field of chemical
cally designed to attract nerve, blister, or blood CW detection may also play a role in health care, envi-
agents. The base frequencies for the SAWs are 275 ronmental monitoring and industrial health and
MHz. The property measured in this case is the res- safety.
onant frequency of the SAWs. The frequency
changes from the SAW array are processed by a neu-
ral network algorithm to determine the type and con- VII. CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS FOR
centration of the chemical agent (Laljer & Owen, MILITARY APPLICATIONS
Nowadays, the Armed Forces of the majority of de-
(2) Microcantilever Sensors veloped countries are facing challenges that include
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Current Military Science Research Topics

construction and protection of infrastructure in sev- river crossings, or along coastal and inland antiinva-
eral military operations. Changes on the battlefield sion ‘stop lines’ which were intended to slow down
conditions result to intensifying threats in the case of the progress of an attacking force. Some were de-
an attack that require increased protection levels signed for machine guns; others, more unusually,
(such as ballistic and blast protection for temporary housed artillery.
or constructed military facilities, radiation shielding - Air raid shelters
etc.) concerning all types of facilities, infrastructure - Military bridges
and above all military personnel. This introductory - Military hospitals
article aims to review the progress that has been - Military Academies
achieved in the field of civil engineering materials - Naval buildings
used for military protective structures, with empha- - Industrial Military Buildings
sis in different types of concrete used in radiation - Communications centers
shielding buildings. Although personal protection measures for soldiers
a) Types of military buildings mainly involve high performance light armor mate-
Military sites are both offensive and defensive and rials that are normally rather expensive, for the pro-
do not have to be in the front line to be of the fore- tection of buildings, shelters and critical infrastruc-
most significance. They include fortifications de- ture facilities, the aspect of weight seems to be not
signed to withstand assaults and bases from which so critical. Contrary to this, the logistic aspect is cru-
operations could be launched. To these the 20th cen- cial especially for missions abroad were in such
tury added buildings designed to protect civilians cases it is preferred to use local materials as much as
from various forms of air-attack. possible.
The category of military buildings is a particularly b) Construction materials used for military infra-
broad one, and overlaps are inevitable with others. structure
Broadly speaking, military buildings can be divided The rapid development of building and civil engi-
into the operational and the ancillary (commonly neering after World War II is characterized by wide
known in the military as ‘the teeth and the tail’): application of concrete as the basic material in all
buildings for fighting, and buildings for living and branches of infrastructure, including those for mili-
working. The following operational structures can be tary purposes. Concrete is one of the most common
distinguished: construction materials widely used that fulfils most
- Army buildings: Those range from permanent bar- of the above criteria and is by far the most widely
racks and officers’ messes, to temporary structures. used material for radiation shielding due to its cheap-
- Aviation sites: Perhaps the largest category of ness, satisfactory mechanical properties and durabil-
modern military buildings in most countries. Mili- ity. In its most basic form, concrete is a multiphase-
tary airfields are typically large and complex sites multicomponent mixture that typically consists of
that were built in great numbers after World War II. Portland cement, fine and coarse aggregates, water,
Airfields were increasingly given concrete runways mineral additives and chemical admixtures. The
for all-weather flying. The component elements principle cementitious material is Portland cement.
range from station headquarters and guard houses, to Portland cement has high energy quantities and
more functional technical blocks, hangars and con- emissions associated with its production, which is
trol towers. conserved or decreased when the amount used in
- Bombing decoys: Intricate systems of deception, concrete is reduced. Today, most concrete mixtures
laid out away from urban areas to draw enemy raid- contain supplementary cementitious materials,
ers away from their intended targets. Dummy sys- sometimes referred to as mineral additives, for im-
tems of lighting, and street grids, simulating cities proved concrete performance in both its fresh and
under aerial assault, were laid out on less vulnerable hardened state. Furthermore, supplementary ce-
sites. mentitious materials reduce the consumption of
- Pillboxes: Strong-points, generally of reinforced Portland cement per unit volume of concrete. Sup-
concrete, placed at strategic locations, such as at plementary cementitious materials such as fly ash,
granule blast furnace slag and silica fume enable the
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Current Military Science Research Topics

concrete industry to use hundreds of millions of tons (BaSO4), their potential use in building construction
of by product materials that would otherwise be used was considered to be ideal to radiation protection,
as land-filled as in the west. but this is not feasible as global barite reserves are
New types of structures and new technologies in not enough. However, other researchers (Akkurt, I.
building, structural and civil engineering created & El-Khayatt, A. M., 2013) report that for concrete
more difficult requirements for this material. The that contained barites as aggregates, although im-
classification of concrete types is based on the basic proved concrete shielding properties against gamma-
feature of concrete, which is its compressive rays were recorded, it is not an ideal material to im-
strength. According to Kmita (Kmita, 2000), the fol- prove shielding properties against neutron radiation.
lowing cement-based concrete classification is If a high barite proportion is required for concrete
made, taking into account the latest achievements in used against both neutron and gamma-ray it is rec-
concrete ingredients and the technology of produc- ommended to back up it by hydrogen absorber. Ex-
tion: (i) conventional concrete (CC), up to grade 60 amples of such materials are water-bearing concrete,
MPa; (ii) high strength concrete (HSC), grades 60- magnesium oxychloride concrete and water, mason-
90 MPa; (iii) very high strength concrete (VHSC), ite, moist earths, etc.
grades 90-130 MPa; (iv) reactive powder concrete Minerals like bauxite, hydrous iron ore or serpentine,
(RPC), grades 200-800 MPa; (v) high performance all slightly heavier than normal weight concrete can
lightweight concrete (HPLC) greater than 55 MPa. be used when high fixed water content is required. It
c) Concrete with radiation shielding properties is essential that heavy weight aggregates are inert
Ionizing radiations such as energetic photons and with respect to alkalis and free of oil, and foreign
charged particles such as electrons take place in nu- coatings which may have undesired effects on bond-
clear technology applications (nuclear reactors, nu- ing of the paste to the aggregate particles or on ce-
clear power plants, nuclear medicine etc.). However, ment hydration.
wherever the energetic photons or electrons take Presently, heavyweight concrete is extensively used
place in an application, there is always a safety issue as a shield in nuclear plants and radio therapy rooms,
coming down due to their health hazard potential. and for transporting, storing and disposal of radioac-
Therefore, proper shield design is of vital importance tive wastes. For this purpose, concrete must have
not only for protection of military and other person- high strength and high density. Heavyweight and
nel working in places where radiation is involved but high strength concrete can be used for shielding pur-
also protection of military or laboratory equipment poses if it meets the strength and radiation shielding
from radiation hazard. properties. Such concrete that normally utilizes mag-
The performance requirements of the concrete of netite aggregate can have a density in the range of
containment structures are mainly radiological pro- 3200-4000 kg/m3, which is significantly higher than
tection, structural integrity and durability. For this the density of concrete made with normal aggre-
purpose, high-performance heavy density concrete gates. Concrete aggregates play an essential role in
with special attributes can be used (Ouda, 2015). The modifying concrete properties since the physico-me-
density of heavyweight concrete is based on the spe- chanical properties affect significantly its shielding
cific gravity of the aggregate and the properties of properties.
the other components of concrete. Concretes with Another factor that needs to be assessed is the re-
specific gravities higher than 2600 kg/m3 are called sistance of concrete to radiation that may cause
heavyweight concrete and aggregates with specific losses in mechanical strength. Gamma radiation
gravities higher than 3000 kg/m3 are called heavy- from different sources that range from special mili-
weight aggregate. The aggregates and other compo- tary equipment, arms and ammunition or even radi-
nents are based upon the exact application of the oactive wastes, requires further investigation be-
high density concrete. Some of the natural minerals cause of its ability to deeply penetrate and degrade
used as aggregates in high density concrete are hem- materials (Soo & Milian, 2001). Early studies indi-
atite, magnetite, limonite, barite and some of the ar- cated that damage to concrete will only occur for
tificial aggregates including materials like steel gamma doses on the order of 108 grays, Gy. A de-
punchings and iron shot. Especially for barites tailed explanation for the strength losses is not
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Current Military Science Research Topics

known. Possibly, the losses on compressive strength of secondary-capture gamma rays. According to Jae-
could be connected with the radiolysis of the water ger et al., (Jaeger et al., 1975) boron can be added to
of hydration in the cement, as well as pore water. If concrete in three different ways:
hydrogen and oxygen radiolytic species are lost dur- i) as aggregates: some boron containing natural min-
ing radiation, this would decrease the level of cement erals and boron containing industrial materials have
hydration, and it may be postulated that the strength been used as aggregates for radiation shielding con-
would also decrease (Soo & Milian, 2001). crete. Commercially important boron materials are
Experimental work by Soo & Milian (Soo & Milian, listed in American standard specifications for aggre-
2001) showed that for Portland cement mortars the gates for radiation shielding concrete (ASTM C638,
decreased compressive strength could occur at 1998).
gamma doses that are much less than the threshold ii) using special boron cements (Kharita, Yousef &
dose of about 108 Gy cited by other workers. The AlNassar, 2011, Kaplan, 1989, Kolovos, 2003).
curing time during the radiation is an important fac- iii) addition of boron to the water used in the con-
tor in quantifying the amount of strength loss. It is crete in the form of soluble compounds.
proposed that for a dose rate on the order of 31 The first method has been used in special type of
Gy/hr, losses in strength may occur for relatively low very heavy concretes, boron containing, and scrap
doses of the 105 Gy range. based (Jaeger et al., 1975). Boron frit, boron carbide,
The concrete shielding properties may vary and is and calcium boride have been mentioned as potential
dependent on the composition of the concrete source materials for such purposes (Kharita, Yousef
(Kharita, Yousef & AlNassar, 2011). Different types & AlNassar, 2011). Very little accurate information
of special concretes have been developed by chang- has been reported on the effects of using some of the
ing the aggregates used in mix design, depending on most commercially available soluble compounds of
the available natural and artificial local materials boron such boric acid and borax. However the addi-
(Akkurt et al., 2005; Kharita et al., 2008; Kaplan, tion of boric acid and its pure frit is not suitable for
1989; Ibrahim and Rashed, 1998). Since hydrogen, enhancement of the shielding properties of concrete,
iron, and carbon have suitable scattering cross-sec- because of the deleterious effects on the setting pro-
tions they can be used for moderating fast neutrons cess of cement (Kolovos, 2003, Kolovos et al., 2001,
making concrete produced by carbonate aggregates Kolovos et al., 2002, Kolovos et al., 2005).
or iron ores (hematite) very attractive to be used for Recent studies by Rezaei-Ochbelagh et al. (Rezaei-
neutron shielding. The resultant slow or thermal neu- Ochbelagh et al., 2012), showed that if silica fume
trons should be captured using materials with suita- with up to 45% w/w Pb is added to concrete it can
ble capture cross-section, like boron and cadmium. partially increase the flux of gamma rays emitting
The capture of thermal neutrons usually results in the from it. Increased silica fume addition leads to in-
production of hard or penetrating gamma radiations creased resistive strength of concrete specimens.
called capture gamma rays. To reduce or suppress Therefore, in order to reduce costs and increase the
the production of this secondary-capture gamma ra- resistance of concrete used as a shield against
diation, elements may be introduced which have two gamma rays, silica fume can be used as a partial ce-
characteristics; large neutron capture cross section, ment replacement and for this purpose, a proportion
and causing the emission of soft capture gamma rays of 15% is suggested that exhibited an increase on the
which are much less penetrating and, are readily ab- compressive strength of the concrete by about 22%.
sorbed within radiation shield. The boron isotope B- d) Conclusions
10 has a high capture cross-section for thermal neu- It is concluded from this work that as long as radia-
trons. In this regard, boron is far more effective than tion shielding protection is required, different types
other elements such as hydrogen and silicon in cap- of concrete are available that consist of various spe-
turing thermal neurons (Kharita, Yousef & AlNas- cialized aggregates, cements or mineral additives
sar, 2011, Kaplan, 1989). with reduced cost that potentially can be used for
Boron could increase the neutron shielding effec- military construction purposes, when protection of
tiveness of concretes, since it works as a suppressor infrastructure in several military operations is re-
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

VIII. TOXICITY ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL as these are crucial factors that affect environmental
WARFARE AGENTS fate and transport as well as exposure potential.
Chemicals can potentially cause adverse effects on Among these, octanol−water partition coefficient
human health and the environment and thus deter- (logP), water solubility (logS) melting point (MP),
mining the toxicity of chemicals prior to their use or boiling point (BP), vapor pressure (VP), and biocon-
release is of paramount importance. Toxicity assess- centration factor (BCF) significantly affect bioavail-
ment is a key step in drug discovery when a specific ability, permeability, absorption, transport and per-
substance is designed to enter the human body but is sistence of chemicals in the organisms and the envi-
also extremely important for chemicals of industrial ronment (Zang et al., 2017).
use or for the unexpected or uncontrolled, accidental Experimental testing procedures are often expen-
or deliberate release of chemicals (Rajes and Bajic, sive, labor intensive and time consuming and as
2016). The latter case applies also to the release of such, alternative or complimentary methods to as-
Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) that are highly sess toxicity are highly desired. Within this context,
toxic chemicals that can have lethal or incapacitating the effective use of computational resources (includ-
effects on humans and animals through their toxico- ing data, algorithms, methods and tools) has
logical effects. emerged in the toxicity assessment scheme, allowing
CWAs have rather simple structures, are character- for a fast and inexpensive toxicity estimation even
ized by high toxicity and can be divided in different before the actual synthesis of a given chemical. Ad-
categories based on their effects in human including: vanced in silico methods and tools can significantly
nerve agents such as sarin (GB), Tabun (GA) and V- contribute in the long-desired goal of reducing ani-
agent (VX), blistering agents such as sulfur mustard mal testing by organizing, analyzing, modeling, sim-
(HD) and lewisite (L), blood agents such as hydro- ulating, visualizing and finally predicting chemical
gen cyanide (AC) and cyanogen chloride (CK) and toxicity and physicochemical properties (Melagraki,
choking agents such as phosgene (CG) and chlorine 2006). A broad range of computational methods and
(CL) (Ganesan et al., 2010). Decontamination after tools have been already developed within this in sil-
the release of such chemicals, as a consequence of a ico toxicology framework including advanced mod-
terrorist attack or as part of a neutralization process eling techniques for the generation of predictive
of disposed amounts of CWAs, demands, among models, simulation tools for studying chemical-bio-
others, the knowledge of the toxicity of the sub- logical interactions and web based or stand-alone de-
stances involved. cision support systems (Melagraki et al., 2006a;
Hazard assessment can be based on in vitro or in vivo Melagraki et al., 2006b).
experimental procedures that include different tox- Large organizations such as the Organization of Eco-
icity endpoints. Toxicity can be measured quantita- nomic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the
tively, in example as the lethal dose to the 50% of European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the U.S.
the tested individuals (LD50) or the lethal concentra- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as
tion to the 50% of the tested individuals for a time research centers including the military US Army La-
period (LCt50), or even qualitatively by assigning a boratory highly recommend and extensively use the
class to each tested compound (i.e. toxic/nontoxic or above-mentioned concepts and in silico methods and
high/medium/low toxicity). In vitro toxicity experi- tools in exposure, toxicological hazard, and risk as-
mental testing gained significant ground in toxicity sessments of chemicals (Hardy et al., 2010).
assessment due to the development of the effective These in silico methods are underpinned by recent
high throughput screening (HTS) methods that allow advances in artificial intelligence and machine learn-
the fast evaluation of thousands of compounds. In ing methods that support the development of the
vivo animal testing has also been used but due to sig- classical quantitative structure – activity relationship
nificant time and cost limitations as well as ethical models (QSARs) and result in an increased accuracy
considerations the use of such methods is declining. of predictions. New concepts such as the Adverse
Along with toxicity evaluation, the physicochemical Outcome Pathways (AOPs) that describe linked
characteristics of compounds are equally important events at different levels of biological organisation
that lead to an adverse effect on human health and
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

the environment have emerged and are currently de- which case the rotation of the Earth as well as its
veloped to enhance the mechanistic understanding of curvature need to be taken into account transform-
toxicity. Overall, the availability of a variety of in ing the shape of the calculated trajectories.
silico methods and tools renders the development of In principle, the techniques developed could be ap-
a decision support system necessary to combine re- plied to the determination of the accessible spatial
sults and guide decision making. domains of realistic military long range ballistics of
both projectiles and missiles. In the case of mis-
siles, two most generic cases need to be identified:
Toxicity assessment of chemicals prior to their syn- • The ‘fire and forget’ variety, where the study of
thesis and use is a challenging task and towards this motion essentially follows the same steps as those
goal in silico toxicology is significantly contributing of the generic projectile
in replacing expensive and time-consuming experi- • The ‘guided’ variety, where the study of motion
mental methods. Compounds of military interest, in- through the envelope curve analysis only applies
cluding chemical warfare agents, are also studied to the unguided portions of the trajectory.
within a computational toxicology context. Custom- The aim is to develop a flexible yet powerful tech-
ized models based on transparent data and methods, nique that can be applied on-the-fly to determine
with well-defined domains of applicability can lead the safety domain as well as other needed aspects of
to accurate predictions and thus can be systemati- the ballistic trajectories of modern weapons systems
cally developed and used to effectively assess chem- that can increase the accuracy of the shot and the
icals’ toxicity as well as critical physicochemical safety of the personnel involved.
properties and guide decision making.
The importance of the envelope curve of the ballis- The typical association of flying drones (UAV’s)
tic trajectories of a given weapons system has been with risk assessment mostly refers to the risk these
demonstrated repeatedly in the past (Budikov flyers present to manned aerial vehicles as well as
2015), (Hart 1998). Various aspects of the trajec- structure and the general population in general
tory characteristics under perturbations can be de- (Plioutsias 2018). There is however another interest-
rived from the envelope, making this a widely ap- ing aspect of the association of drones with risk as-
plicable technique for a variety of related issues. sessment. This is based on the ability of UAV’s,
The analytical determination of the envelope curve equipped with the appropriate measuring devices to
is transformed from a relatively trivial problem survey remote, dangerous, or contaminated terrain in
(Vorvolakos 2016) to a far more involved one as in- a safe manner and to assess the dangers this terrain
creasingly more realistic ballistic trajectories are could present to potential personnel involvement. As
considered. As air resistance effects are taken into an added benefit, if personnel has been exposed to
account the analytical determination of the enve- environmental threats, drones, due to their mobility
lope curve is possible in certain cases (Vorvolakos and the out of the box availability of high definition
2017) but not in general. cameras, have been effectively utilized in numerous
For the domain of modern artillery ballistic trajec- search and rescue operations.
tories, the particulars of the projectile motion (aero- It has been recently been brought to the attention of
dynamic profile as well as extended body dynamics the public media in Greece, that the local municipal-
- as opposed to point particle dynamics) necessitate ities have requested the assistance of drone operators
the application of numerical approximation and for the location of the remains of a lost fisherman in
techniques as well as analytical methods. lake Volvi just north of the city of Thessaloniki, in
The problem becomes more involved when long January 2018 (Polychronos 2018) . The use of
range ballistics are taken into consideration, in drones in missions to either detect danger, or to help
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Current Military Science Research Topics

people already in danger has been proven repeatedly or entity with any financial interest or non-financial
in the near past. interest (e.g. political, religious etc.) in the subject
The aim of the study would be to illustrate the use- matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
fulness of a readymade UAV, which can follow a
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Vorvolakos A., 2016. Envelope Curve (in Greek), lenic Military Academy, however neither the Arms
work in progress, preprint available by the author Control Center nor the Arms Control Journal are af-
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Wells, P. H. & Wenner, A. M., 1973. Do honey bees product, process, or service by trade name, trade-
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Journal of Arms Control, Defense & Security Studies Volume 1, Issue 1, (2018)
© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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S. Alexiou, R. Argyropoulou, E.Drakaki, L. Fragkos-Livanios, G. Kitsara, K. Kolovos, T. Liolios, G. Melagraki, A. Vorvolakos:
Current Military Science Research Topics

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© Arms Control Center, Online Publication Date: August 16, 2018
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