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snocap

snocap


SNOCAP TECHNOLOGY

The SnoCap Technology was developed to provide precision timing control of a remote detonation event.  It is a PC controlled detonation technology that provides good inventory control and record keeping, remote wireless convenience and electronic dependability.


The SnoCap system is suitable for a range of applications that requires precision, controlled and safe timing of explosive initiation.  Industry sectors that would benefit from this level of precision and control:
Avalanche Control
Police SWAT Operations
Military Special Operations
Oil Well Stimulation


The
SnoCap System consists of three primary components:
Electronic Timing Device
Handheld Programmer & PC Interface
Software Package for the PC

 

SnoCap

  • The SnoCap Device is a sophisticated electronic module. It is housed in a small plastic enclosure with a visible LED and a communication connector. This unit contains the complete control electronics and safety features for the precision timing of a controlled detonation. The SnoCap, when coupled with a standard fuse initiated detonator, provides a unique method for precision detonation timing of a remote explosive event.

    The Handheld Programming unit is a hermetically sealed ABS box with an LCD display, a 12 key keypad, and a built-in rechargeable battery. It is used for programming SnoCap devices in the field for different timing delays and functions as the control device that (ARMS) the SnoCap for detonation.

    The Handheld Programmer also serves as the interface between the SnoCap and the PC. The PC becomes the security (Administrative) control for inventory and activation of the SnoCap devices and also for security activation of the Handheld Programmer through the SnoCap proprietary software.

    The proprietary software is used to set security parameters and activate the Handheld Programmer to function with a unique PIN code and scheduled hours of use. It is used to enter inventory, activate & deactivate SnoCap devices and to set default delays on SnoCap devices. The Inventory data base is always available to regulatory authorities and displays the entire date stamped history of product flow from inventory to consumption and back to inventory if unused on a given day.

    How It Works… Replace the SnoCap Operation designation with "How It Works"


    DESCRIPTION

    The SnoCap device is a small electronic unit that is designed to connect to a standard electric detonator, and to convert the combination of (SnoCap + Electric Detonator + Booster) to a standalone explosive device for use in a wide range of industrial and military applications. The SnoCap is a timing and control device, which has many safety and security features.

    The SnoCap device is a cylindrical unit with a crimpable part on one end for inserting into the detonator tube, and a PCB edge connector on the other side, for connection to the Handheld/PC interface unit.

    SnoCap

    The SnoCap is small and compact with the following dimensions:

    Main body 18mm diameter, 15mm long Crimping part 5.5 mm diameter, 10mm long PCB edge connector 12mm wide, 10mm long

    The SnoCap product has many safety features, which places it in a different class than the existing cap & fuse systems, and electronic blasting cap devices. It should prove to be a much safer alternative for avalanche and other explosive applications.


    DIAGNOSTIC TEST

    Whenever the SnoCap device is connected to the Handheld Unit and via the Handheld Unit to the PC, an immediate Diagnostic Test is performe

    • Communications check.
    • SnoCap ID read.
    • Current consumption check.
    • Check critical components and give indication to user if faulty.
    • Flash LED for user indication of LED functionality.


    Based on this test, a DIAGNOSTIC STATUS is shown on PC: Either OK or Defective

    FIELD USE

    • SnoCap units are purchased by end users.
    • Upon receipt of SnoCap units, end user puts them into inventory by connecting them in turn to the Handheld Unit, which is connected to the PC with our SnoCap Software. The SnoCap Software then automatically adds these units to its database.
    • Up to this point, all SnoCap devices are in a Disabled state, and no triggering event (activation) could be made to occur.
    • Next, in order for the end user to use the SnoCap devices, he/she must connect them to the PC (via the Handheld Unit), and activates them. At the same time the Delay and Activation Timeout Periods are set to the user's preference.
    • The Snocap devices can now be enabled by later arming them with the Handheld Programmer.
    • Any unused SnoCap devices can be deactivated (put back into their disabled state) via the PC.
    • Alternatively, they will automatically return to the Disabled state after the preset. Activation Timeout Period. They can then still be returned to inventory via the PC software.

    SAFETY FEATURES

    • The product was designed to be "Fail-safe", which means that any malfunction will result in a SnoCap unit which will not be able to detonate.
    • Number of I/O lines have been minimized, to limit possible entry points for unwanted signals, e.g. static electricity.
    • An internal protection circuit protects against static electricity & surges to a level of 15A surge current, and an ESD rating of 16000V.
    • The unit is powered not from a battery, but from a special capacitor. This capacitor stores very little energy compared to a battery, and is only able to power the unit for a maximum of 24 hours. As the maximum activation period is 18 hours, this means that the unit will lose power shortly after its activation expires.
    • Another safety factor associated with the large capacitor, is that it can absorb large static electricity surges safely. For example, a 100mJ electrical surge will only change the voltage on the capacitor by 100mV.
    • An internal protection circuit limits the capacitor voltage to 6.8V.
    • External short circuits on the connector cannot affect operation in any way, apart from shortening the operation period of the supply capacitor slightly. Short circuits cannot in any way cause detonation of the fuse or cause the unit to be armed.
    • The fuse that is used on the product, can never detonate at a voltage of less than 10V. Therefore, even if the capacitor got connected to the fuse through a malfunction, it could never cause it to detonate. In addition, the supply capacitor can only supply a few milliamps of current, while the fuse requires in excess of 1A current to detonate.
    • The detonation of the fuse is achieved through an additional high voltage capacitor, which is isolated from all I/O pins, so that it can not be charged from outside. This high voltage capacitor is only charged up once, 10 seconds before detonation, through an internal charging circuit. At all other times, it has no charge on it.
    • The charging of the high voltage capacitor can only happen in a fully functional system. If any malfunction happens, the capacitor will not be charged, and the unit cannot detonate.
    • A complete and correct sequence of events has to happen before the high voltage capacitor can be charged:

    - The device must be connected (via the handheld unit) to the controlling PC with the dedicated software.
    - The administrative supervisor must enter a valid password to enable the software.
    - The unit must pass the automatic diagnostic test.
    - The unit must be activated by the supervisor with a specific PIN number.
    - At this point, the unit is useable for the first time.
    - To arm the unit, it now has to be reconnected to the handheld unit within the activation period, and with the correct PIN entered on the handheld unit. At this point, the user can set the delay and arm the unit.
    - The delay has to be at least 15 seconds, to enable the user to get away from the unit before detonation. Shorter delays are not accepted by the unit.|
    - When the unit is unplugged from the handheld unit, the delay countdown commences. The user has a visual indication of this through a flashing LED on the unit: two different flash sequences for more than one minute remaining time, and less than one minute. From 10 seconds remaining time, the LED stays on permanently.
    - The countdown can be aborted by plugging the unit back into the handheld.
    - Only after this correct sequence does the high voltage capacitor charging process commence, culminating in connection of the capacitor to the fuse at the instant of detonation.