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EasiBridge® – Capability Summary By Dr. SR Bright PhD BEng CEng MICE FInstRE

Introduction

EasiBridge® is a pioneering innovation – the world’s first truly user-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridge. Components 80% more compact, 85% lighter than any incumbent system.

EasiBridge® uses modular ladders and novel engineering to span gaps up to 18m. Bridges formed from 1.5m x 7kg ladder sections.

“This really is a special system, continuing the British tradition of military bridge engineering innovation” – Think Defence 29/01/2018.

Feedback from military trials has inspired the development of numerous wider applications.  New capabilities provided for emergency services, disaster recovery, mountaineering, force protection and infantry mobility – all backed with extensive International Patents.

EasiBridge® has been developed with the UK Defence & Security Accelerator. It promises to be revolutionary.  

Gap Crossing Systems

EasiBridge® provides new access capabilities; user-portable bridges, up to 18m span, weighing just 92kg. “EasiLock” connections maintain rigidity across multiple ladder joints.

Simple short spans, up to 6m, can be formed from plain ladder sections with just three sets of EasiLock joint. Longer spans, up to 18m, use a link tensioning system common to innovative military bridges like the Medium Girder Bridge and General Support Bridge. Advanced-fibre ropes, with variable-depth, telescopic masts offer treble the span of incumbent ladder systems, whilst halving structure weight.

Urban environments require personnel to move in the horizontal and vertical planes. EasiBridge addresses both, with a single set of components, offering a step-change improvement over existing products and techniques.  EasiBridge packs to 10% of the size of the current Infantry Assault Bridge (IAB) – optimizing both cost and logistics. EasiBridge is 20 times stiffer and offers 3 times the span range of incumbent ladder systems.  An innovative cantilever launch/inversion technique is critical to this capability.

Key to operation is a bridge and a trolley. In service, the trolley slides over the bridge, carrying goods and personnel. During installation, the bridge is inverted and slid over the upturned trolley. All access from the home-bank, only. The whole operation taking less than 30 seconds. Bridges recovered as quickly as they are installed.

To see the kit in action…

https://youtu.be/Z8hINYY4svo

EasiBridge is compatible with confined space installation, bridges can be carried up building staircases, through ‘mouse holes’ and transported over long distances by just a single operative, then used to covertly cross gaps between buildings or other obstacles, access tunnels and roof areas.

Tactical Assault Bridge

The Tactical Assault Bridge (TAB) is the core EasiBridge configuration.

Tactical Assault bridges are designed to be man-portable – system weights 5kg per m of span, for a design load of 200 kg. A 15m bridge weighs 75kg and can be carried by as few as 2 personnel using carriers formed from bridge components themselves. Tactical Assault Bridges are half the weight and treble the span of incumbent quad-ramp systems.

Infantry Assault Bridge

The Infantry Assault Bridge uses the Tactical Assault Bridge as its foundation, adding decking and handrails to create stable platforms for foot-traffic and light-vehicles. Tactical Assault Bridges, on their sides, form the structure handrails – simple interoperability enhancing capability between systems, and bending strength of the (Tactical Assault Bridge) deck.

Close Support Bridge

EasiBridge is a modular system. The Close Support Bridge (CSB) extends IAB application by placing 2 or more standard EasiBridge Tactical Assault Bridges side-by-side. Simple spans up to 6m can be formed from plain ladder sections – no rope tensioning, offering very shallow construction depth. Modular bridges of any width can be produced – up to 18m span.

Increasing bridge width increases load rating. Close Support Bridges offer a light-vehicle capability for direct trafficking by quad-bikes and LTMP/SMET transporters – load ratings exceeding 1 Tonne.

Extended Super-Kit Capabilities

Military feedback has stimulated the development of a wider range of EasiBridge capabilities. EasiBridge® ladders offer a common building block for a huge range of mobility, access and troop protection challenges. Ladders provide gap crossing, infantry carriage support, logistics handling, fence-breaching CASEVAC, troop protection, logistics handling, even man-portable SVBIED barriers. 12 capabilities all from one, common, “Super-Kit” of parts.

Materials Handling Conveyor – EasiShift®

A simple accessory kit converts Tactical Assault Bridges into the EasiShift® materials handling conveyor.

Materials handling at height has been a longstanding safety concern – regulation now prohibits ALL manual handling operations (hod-carrying) on ladders. Powered conveyors exist (eg. Bumpa-lift) but are substantial, stand-alone systems, used for materials-handling only – incompatible with personnel access.  Conveyors are expensive, bulky, single-function equipment, impractical for military use.

EasiShift® provides a new approach. Conveyors are formed from EasiBridge® ladders installed at shallow grade, permitting hand winch or cordless drill operation, with dual-functionality – ladders can be re-configured for personnel access – offering exceptional flexibility for military users. EasiLock® joints allows conveyors to be formed from multiple short-sections, transported by personnel or light vehicles, eg. quad.  Military applications include: movement of ammunition, stores, weapons, or stretchers via the trolley system from ground-to-high-level; fill placement in Force Protection shelters & casualty evacuation from buildings. Another unique urban-access toolkit.

Force Protection

EasiBridge® combines bridging with extensive force-protection and counter-mobility capabilities. Overhead protection and vehicle barriers can be constructed using EasiBridge sections. Force protection capabilities include basic systems for overhead trench protection to blast-resistant roofing systems for troop-shelters and man-portable troop accommodation and disaster-relief shelters.

Basic protection systems utilise bridging ladders and footbridge decking panels to form trench cover structures up to 3m span. Ladder sections can be combined with sheet materials to support 300mm of earth fill. For wider positions, ladder sections and joints can be used to create pitched support. The support can be secured by tie rods, thrust blocks or pickets driven into the ground.

More complex roof structures can be constructed for use with Hesco or Defencell, or engineering plant excavated defence positions. Troop shelters use a wire-tensioning system to increase roof span up to 6m – double the span of incumbent systems.

EasiBridge® creates an affordable range of rapid-assembly building frameworks, ideally suited for blast-resistant troop shelters, disaster-relief and humanitarian-aid shelters. All systems formed from 1.5m x 7kg bridging ladders and footbridge decking panels, compatible with plant/equipment-free transport and installation.  All components can be placed entirely by hand – no power or mechanical plant required. Earth-fill can be placed by EasiShift® materials-handling (trolley) conveyor, allowing easy placement of blast-protection fill from the ground to the roof apex, using common bridging ladders and components in both roof and conveyor systems.

Specialist Access – Fence Breaching

EasiBridge® Fence Breaching System can scale fences up to 4m high without contacting the fence, ensuring no damage or detection at the point of entry. Installation is completed covertly via an inclined cantilever launch/ inversion technique, with quick-release rope attachments allowing articulation about a central hinge.

The Fence Breaching System is a simple alternative to vehicle-based systems and a significant improvement over improvised climbing ladders.

Specialist Access – Engineer Access Platforms

Access underneath bridges to inspect or place demolition charges is conventionally achieved with vehicle-mounted access platforms or a combination of ladders and rope access techniques. EasiBridge® can also form under-bridge platforms for Engineer access and demolition. A simple adaptation of the Tactical Assault Bridge (TAB); 6m platforms configured without TAB mast, up to 12m with a single mast.

Suspension ropes from deck level could replace/reinforce normal EasiBridge® mast/rope tensioning systems. Suspension ropes provide vertical and torsional restraint to high centre-of-gravity platform loads (ropes self-anchored – no requirement for sizeable end anchorages). All components user-portable and easily moved with light transport vehicles such as quad bikes or small ATV’s.

Access platforms are designed for remote placement from above deck level via a cantilever (gravity, boom-out) launch technique, or via suspension ropes slung over the side of the existing structure. A significant safety innovation, offering plant-free, manual installation.

Platforms can be fitted with optional decking and handrails, as Infantry Assault Bridges for enhanced safety and stability. End boarding ladders provide access and positional fixity. Additional components such as stabiliser struts further enhance lateral and torsional fixity.

A range of platforms are available, from simple, light-duty, single spans, providing single-user (200kg) capacity, to grillages of heavier duty, multiple-access walkways.

User-Benefits

EasiBridge® offers the world’s first user-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridge. Novel engineering with lightweight ladders offers five unique benefits:

1. Portability – Components 85% lighter and 80% more compact than incumbent Infantry Assault Bridge (IAB).

2. Range – 18m span bridges installed by a single operative, with access from one side, only.

3. Cost – 85% cheaper than incumbent (vehicle-borne) IAB.

4. Versatility – a common building block for bridging, carriage-support, trench-cover, force-protection, materials-handling, fence-breaching and portable access platforms.

5. UAV/UGV mobility and autonomous placement capabilities.

EasiBridge®

Benefits to Customer

Economic, lightweight, user-portable, long-span bridging system.

Treble the span range and half the weight of equivalent ladder systems

EasiBridge®

Unique Selling Point

Components 85% lighter and 80% more compact than incumbent systems.

Multiple capabilities – gap-crossing, force-protection, vehicle-mobility

EasiBridge®

Benefits Over Rival Systems

User-portable, including inside buildings.

No mechanical plant or power to transport or install

Summary

EasiBridge® offers a ground-breaking innovation. A multi-function super-kit, ideally suited for the challenges of urban warfare, for special-forces, engineer and dismounted infantry operations. EasiBridge® transforms troop mobility and force protection with using short-section ladders as a common building-block for a range of military engineering applications. Full “Super-Kit” capabilities include:

a. Vertical climbing: urban access, compound- and tunnel-entry. Climb heights up to 10.5m.

b. Gap-crossing: Tactical Assault Bridge for dismounted personnel & quad-bikes. Patented cantilever launch/inversion technique.

c. Assault-bridge for urban environments: rooftop-to-rooftop, or through windows, ideally suited for urban warfare and counter-terrorism applications, avoiding ground-level entry routes.

d. Quad-bike/UGV Mobility: 12m bridge carried on single quad. Capacity up to 2 Tonne – short (~3m) spans.

e. A new range of Infantry assault bridges, 90% more compact than existing systems.

f. Close-support foot/light-vehicle bridges, including autonomous LTMP installation capability.

g. A versatile range of floating pontoon bridges and access platforms.

h. Modular rafts for amphibious assaults.

i. Rescue platforms for fire, flood, mud & mountain rescue.

j. Infantry-carrier system for dismounted personnel.

k. MEDEVAC stretcher platform, offering single-handed casualty evacuation.

l. Vehicle-portable, light-cavalry bridges.

m. Conveyor: ammunition, personnel & equipment movement from ground-to-roof level. Also building materials.

n. Cover-protection: trench/bunker cover systems and SVBIED vehicle barriers. Full trench enclosure systems.

o. Lightweight, high-portability access platforms for Engineer inspection and demolition activities.

p. Utility support structures.

q. Troop protection shelters for dismounted personnel.

r. Rapid installation vehicle (SVBIED), munition protection and flood defence barriers.

EasiBridge® provides a unique, modular-building system, offering simple, realistic, affordable solutions to a broad range of mobility, access and troop protection challenges. A common platform to service each requirement, negating the need for numerous, independent ranges of single-function equipment. 

No other system comes close to the span range, portability or breadth of capability of EasiBridge® platforms. A multi-purpose Super-Kit at a fraction of the size and cost of incumbent systems. EasiBridge® could transform techniques employed in military engineering for generations to come. Its strength and range of capabilities are unique.

EasiBridge® – Get Over It !

Commercial Opportunity

EasiBridge® has been developed by Bright Structures Ltd, a micro-SME founded January 2016. Stephen Bright sole director and stakeholder.

Tactical Assault Bridge, conveyor and IAB footbridge systems have been procured for British Army Trials:

“The Army is embracing emerging technologies and adopting innovation that eases the tasks of our people. We are delighted to be supporting a UK innovator, turning new ideas into military capability and putting it into the hands of soldiers quickly for trials and testing.”

Brigadier Kev Copsey, Head of Future Force Development.

The Army could benefit from a significant increase in capability.  EasiBridge® is an ideal candidate for streamlined low-cost procurement, capabilities being acquired incrementally as operational circumstances evolve.

EasiBridge® offers an exceptional business case for private sector investment. Significant scale-up opportunity is anticipated with numerous products and extended capabilities nearing completion. New product development will remain a core business activity – Bright Structures was founded on innovation.  The broad product range ensures Bright Structures offers an innovative business capable of sustained innovation.

Prospective orders exceed a one-man operation. Expressions of interest from prospective backers are now sought – contact info@easibridge.co.uk.

Dr. SR Bright PhD BEng CEng MICE FInstRE

info@easibridge.co.uk                                                                                                                 www.easibridge.com

Supporting Data

3 Para Prototype Trials – Ex Askari Storm, Kenya, 2020:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH2Sd9ur6IY

24Commando RE Mk. I Prototype Trials, 2018:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsG3KRIPU68

In-House Trials – EasiBridge Tactical Assault Bridge & Infantry Assault Footbridge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8hINYY4svo

In-House Trial – 18m (60 foot) Tactical Assault Bridge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkPV482H9Js&feature=youtu.be

It promises to be revolutionary.

18m bridges, installed and crossed in under 30 seconds.  Also force-protection Super-Kit. EasiBridge. Get Over It

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