Shock Test Machine Saves Navy Big Bucks

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 28, 2014

Welding work: Image courtesy of NSWCCD

Welding work: Image courtesy of NSWCCD

The Navy's new Deck Simulator Shock Machine (DSSM) improves shipboard electronics reliability while reducing testing costs as equipment evaluations began in Philadelphia, saving the Navy $75,000 per test, as it meassures the effects of simulated underwater explosions on electronic equipment, informs Naval Sea Systems Command.

The mammoth machine evaluates state-of-the-art, vibration-sensitive electronics cabinets weighing up to 1,500 pounds on shock isolation mounts. One of two such machines worldwide, the mechanism sits on 22,000 pounds of steel and concrete and records the effects of simulated underwater explosions on electronics equipment. 


"After careful evaluation of expensive travel to the Virginia test site, shipping costs and time schedules, the determination was made that installing the DSSM was the most cost effective way for the Navy to perform heavy weight shock testing," said Drew Napolitan, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division environmental test labs technical manager. 


Any new shipboard isolated electrical equipment is required to undergo shock testing before to its installation aboard a Navy ship. Engineers from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSESA) use the test results in order to verify its ability to withstand a shock force from an explosion or blast according to military specifications. 


As Navy engineers collect more test data, the DSSM will become the primary heavyweight shock test vehicle for testing much of the Navy's shock isolated equipment. 


The Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division and a field activity of NAVSEA. It is the Navy's principal test and evaluation station and In-Service Engineering Agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.


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