Firing 50 solid rocket fuel motors within 10 milliseconds of an IED blast temporarily makes the vehicle weigh 120 tons, freezing it in place and protecting everyone inside

 

When an improvised explosive device detonates under a military vehicle, it’s often not the blast that kills the people inside – it’s the extreme acceleration that snaps spines and severs arteries. But a new vehicle design that fits 50 rocket motors to the top to exert an immediate and overwhelming counterforce could save the people inside.

The idea isn’t as mad as it may seem. The upward force of an IED blast can instantly catapult a vehicle many metres into the air. Although vehicle floors are strengthened to prevent IED hot blast gas and searing debris from directly hitting occupants, what often kills people are the internal injuries this jarring take-off acceleration causes to vital human organs.

But what if you exerted an equal and opposite downward force just at the moment of detonation?

The possibility was always there – it’s just Newton’s laws

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