NEW SERDP Underwater Munitions Mobility Projects

Five new FY 2017 Munitions Response projects related to underwater munitions mobility were approved last fall by the SERDP Scientific Advisory Board and are in the initial stages of their work. Three of these new projects will involve measurements of munitions mobility in various settings, one will focus on a computational model to predict the onset of mobility, and the fifth will develop probabilistic representations of environmental conditions for sites of potential contamination.

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Rapid Response Surveys of Mobility, Burial and Re-exposure of Underwater Munitions in Energetic Surf-Zone Environments and Object Monitoring Technology Development (MR-2729), a follow-on of project MR-2319, is being led by Dr. Peter Traykovski of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The objective of this project is to collect field measurement data sets on mobility, burial and re-exposure of munitions in highly energetic environments at the transition from burial to mobile. The project team will use instrumented surrogate munitions and be prepared for rapid deployment of their instruments in advance of forecasted energetic sea conditions.

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Unexploded Ordnance Characterization and Detection in Muddy Estuarine Environments (MR-2730), a project led by Dr. Arthur Trembanis of the University of Delaware, will also use instrumented, surrogate UXO in conjunction with repeated surveys using an AUV-borne magnetometer system to study munitions mobility in muddy sediments.  A large fraction of military testing and training ranges with the potential for human exposure are in shallow areas with muddy sediment and this project will gather data to allow better modeling in these environments.  An example of the magnetometer survey results obtained in advance of project initiation is shown to the left.

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Resolving the Role of the Dynamic Pressure in the Burial, Exposure, Scour, and Mobility of Underwater Munitions (MR-2731), led by Dr. Diane Foster of the

University of New Hampshire, will focus on resolving the role of intermittent bed instability (i.e. momentary liquefaction, sheet flow, localized scour) on burial, exposure, and mobility processes.  The team will use Pressure Mapping Munitions (PMMs) that will measure the orientation, rotation, and surface pressure surrounding munitions to understand the influence of these bed instabilities on the initiation of mobility.  They plan to collect data at three inner surf zones and an estuary close to the UNH campus.

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Three-dimensional Computational Modeling of Turbulent Flow Field, Bed Morphodynamics and Liquefaction Adjacent to Munitions (MR-2732) was proposed by Dr. Xiaofeng Liu of Pennsylvania State University. This project will develop a computational model that will include turbulent flow and its induced sediment transport, hydrodynamic forces on munitions and their 6 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) motion, pore pressure within the bed and potential liquefaction, and the granular behavior of sediment.  The model will be validated against experimental measurements from Marcelo Garcia at the University of Illinois and Joe Calantoni from the Naval Research Laboratory.

Probabilistic Environmental Modeling System for Munitions Mobility (MR-2733), led by Dr. Margaret Palmsten of the Naval Research Laboratory, seeks to simulate a fully three-dimensional representation of the hydrodynamic and morphologic conditions at underwater remediation sites using state-of-the-art models.  The researchers on this team will run ensembles of hydrodynamic and morphologic simulations to produce a probabilistic representation of spatially and temporally varying environmental conditions at sites where munitions contamination is a concern.  Initial work will focus on the US Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility (FRF), in Duck, NC.

These projects are all designed to provide inputs or supporting data for the Underwater Munitions Expert System for Remediation Guidance being developed by Sarah Rennie and Alan Brandt at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.  More detail on all SERDP-supported projects focusing on munitions underwater can be found on the SERDP and ESTCP web site.

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