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Engineering & Product Design of a Weapon Shock Simulator (WSS) for the Small Arms Accessory Testing Industry

Today's advanced product development often requires knowledge of more than one engineering discipline. It isn't good enough to be great at software engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering. You need them all. That's why at Ascendant Engineering Solutions, we have a team of seasoned engineers who are experts in their fields and experienced in working across disciplines to develop sophisticated products. For this project, our team was challenged to create a weapon shock simulator that accurately recreated the weapon shock experienced by an M4. The simulator was requested by the military for testing small arms accessories without having to use live fire. The simulator would be able to test electro optic and electronic accessories including thermal weapon sights. The system would also simulate the mechanical impedance of the weapon/soldier and match the complex weapon shock time history and shock response spectrum. Various companies had worked to create a similar product for 15 years, but had never successfully produced an adequate product.

Our team created initial design parameters using shock, vibratory, and structural analysis. Then, our software, electrical, and mechanical engineers worked to design a product that is accurate, reliable, and simple to use. The frame and other components were machined, all PCB assemblies were completed, the pneumatic tubing was fabricated, and all gaskets were specially made to complete the simulator. The simulator was tested and approved by the government for use as a replacement for live firing in testing M4 accessories per MIL-STD-810G. At AES, we provide solutions to development and manufacturing that our customers didn't think were possible. For more information on this project, please see the table below, or contact us directly.

(click on thumbnail to enlarge)

AES Team Working on WSS
AES Team Working on WSS
Weapon Shock Simulator WSS
Weapon Shock Simulator (WSS)
Close-up View of Weapon Shock Simulator
Close-up View of Weapon Shock Simulator

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Engineering & Development Project Highlights

Product Name Weapon Shock Simulator (WSS)
Product Description Shock simulator and data acquisition for Small Arms Accessory Testing market. AES was uniquely suited to perform this product's development based on AES expertise specific to weapon shock, MIL spec testing & field equipment, and multi-discipline engineering team.
Capabilities Applied/Processes Primary:
Product Design
  • Shock/Vibe/Structural Analysis
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Software
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface)
  • Product Qualification/Certification to MIL Standard
Prototype Manufacturing

Manage Production for the Weapon Shock Simulator (WSS)
Equipment Used to Manufacture Part
  • Weapon Part & Frame Machining
  • PCB Assembly
  • Pneumatics Tubing Fabrication
  • Special Materials (i.e. - Plastics, Gasketing)
Product Details
  • Accurate reproduction of weapon shock from M4
  • Tests M4 accessories including thermal weapon sights
  • Reduces Time and Costs of Weapon Shock Testing
  • Reduces need for expensive live-fire range testing
  • Single shot or full-auto mode - complete 420 round "two combat load" test in less than two minutes
  • No special facilities - only AC power and compressed "shop air"
  • Capable of operating from -40°C to 70°C
  • Integrated data collection, reporting and analysis software
  • Easy-to-operate - no formal training required - avoid live fire safety issues
  • Reliable system with rapid cost payback compared to live-fire testing
Material Used
  • Metal (Stainless Steel & Aluminum)
  • Circuit Boards
  • Software
Additional Facts
  • Product was designed and approved by US government to replace live fire testing for M4 accessories per MIL-STD810G.
In Process Testing/Inspection Performed Prototypes, Production, Owner's Manual
  • Pre-development: Months of collecting & analyzing shock/vibe data from live fire testing of M4 weapon.
  • Structural and Shock/Vibe analysis during product development.
  • Collaborative post-development testing with US Army.
Industry for Use Small Arms Accessory Testing
Volume 5 to 20 per year
Delivery/Turnaround Time 8 Months of Development Across 1.5 Years
Delivery Location US Militaries, DoD Tier1 Contractors & Weapon Accessories (e.g. - scopes, sights) Manufacturers
Standards Met Customer Specifications, 2D CAD Drawing

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