shithub: 9ferno

ref: b502a62da2ec6058923db94f87ecc2d29db2fa77
dir: /lib/ebooks/oebtest/HelicopterMinesweeper.html/

View raw version
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "+//ISBN 0-9673008-1-9//DTD OEB 1.0 Document//EN"
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/x-oeb1-document; charset=utf-8" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/x-oeb1-css" href="DrBillBio.css" />
<title>Bill Wattenburg’s Background: Helicopter Minesweeper</title>


<h1>Helicopters to Clear Minefields</h1>


<p>His most recent invention is a new device for clearing minefields out of war zones during
the Gulf War. He designed a thing called a “chain matrix” which is pulled by a helicopter over the
ground to dig up the mines and explode them without endangering people. The story (San
Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 1991, front page) picked up the human interest side because he
had used a small blacksmith’s shop in a farming town to build the first prototypes and local
farmers to test the devices when major defense contractors would not move fast enough to please

<p>Wattenburg really didn’t want to talk about it beyond what was disclosed in the many
press stories about his helicopter minesweeper. He told us to contact the Livermore National
Laboratory for anything more we wanted to know. He mentioned that some parts of his design
were now classified and that the full details of the design were not disclosed to the press for
obvious reasons. He did say that the version that was tested at the Yuma Proving Grounds was
“not quite as clumsy and contained things a little more sophisticated than what the newspaper
stories showed.”</p>

<p>The Livermore Lab spokesperson would not comment beyond the press stories. He did
say that Wattenburg would soon be issued a patent on the unclassified portions of the
minesweeper design. He said that this device also appears to have great application in farming
operations in areas where the ground is very rocky. He said that Livermore engineers were
already in contact with manufacturers of agriculture equipment. He laughed when he told us that
“Wattenburg says that the last thing he ever wants to see again is a farm.”</p>