EXPLOSIVE WEAPON EFFECTS SIMULATOR

The simulator demonstrates the effects of the five explosive weapons systems examined in the research project. Using the accuracy and precision parameters for each weapon system and the known munitions effects, the simulator allows for an analysis of the principal damage mechanism – i.e. the primary and secondary effects of explosive weapons – in a selected populated area.

These are five fabricated populated area scenarios: open area, hamlet, village, town and city. Each of these represents typical rural and urban characteristics in terms of population density, infrastructure type and vehicles present. Differentiation is made between the pattern of life during the day and night. For instance, in a nighttime scenario in an urban area, office environments are less populated, vehicle traffic decreases and the population in residential areas rises.

How to use the simulator

Choose the desired populated area and select the time – day or night. Click “show scenario”.

Select one of five explosive weapons systems: 122 mm BM-21 Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL); 155 mm Artillery Gun; 120 mm Mortar; 120 mm Tank Gun; or, Mk 82 Aircraft Bomb. Depending on the selected weapon system, there are options related to precision guidance and munition employment – ie: firing a single munition, salvo or barrage.

Choose the direction of the attack, which will determine the impact angle of the munition(s).

Click “start selection” and then move onto the scenario.  Use the [buttons and the “W”, “A”, “S”, “Y”] to move in the scenario and then select the desired point of attack.

Click on “Show effects”.

How to interpret the displayed effects

heat map overlayed on the scenario indicates the severity of damage inflicted ranging from dark red (100% predicted damage/fatalities) to light yellow (1% predicted damage/fatalities). For more detailed information on the algorithmic scale used in the background, click on the “i” (information) box in the corner of the heat scale.

Information on the population affected by the attack as well as the damage inflicted on buildings and vehicles is displayed in the boxes on the bottom right. Contextual data, such as the total population and number of buildings in the scenario, are also included.

By hovering the cursor over individual buildings, streets and vehicles, the calculated damage specific to that property is displayed in the information boxes.

A ruler can be activated to measure the distance between the intended versus actual impact points, as well as distances between furthest impact locations when multiple munitions are fired. This tool therefore allows for a basic analysis of the accuracy achieved when firing a single munition and the degree of precision when multiple munitions are fired (wide area effects).

Disclaimer

This simulator visualises explosive weapon effects in a populated area. It uses fabricated but realistic scenarios of rural and urban human environments. None of these scenarios represent any actual village, town or city.

The explosive weapon effects presented here are derived from actual energetic qualities i.e. blast and fragmentation data, of five munitions categories deliberately averaged from the values of many similar munitions. Thus the representation of the effects is only an approximation of the real-life effects of a particular munition. The amount of energy and fragments released at a detonation of a munition is used to calculate secondary explosive weapon effects, i.e. hazards from window glass and particles of concrete, metal and other elements within the munitions effects range.

The accuracy and precision calculations in this simulator exclude any systematic and random errors potentially present in the actual use of the featured weapon systems. Such errors include, but are not limited to, manufacturing flaws in weapon and munition design, weapon’s wear and tear, operator sighting and targeting errors, use of mixed batches of ammunition, meteorological conditions affecting munitions’ flight, etc.

For descriptions of terms such as ‘accuracy’, ‘precision’, ‘circular error probable’ and ‘effects’, refer to the Terminology section of the Explosive Weapon Effects Final Report (link to the section).

This tool is intended for illustration of weapon effects, accuracy and precision characteristics only. GICHD claims no responsibility for misappropriate use of this tool.

The simulator is under construction and is scheduled for release in November 2017. The above video demonstrates the programme’s current stage of development and not the final version.