ESTCP 2020 Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Navy have identified more than 400 underwater sites that are align="left">potentially contaminated with munitions. The majority of areas are in shallow water (0-35 meters) where munitions pose a threat to human health and the environment. The operational scenario of munitions cleanup lends itself to lower cost towbody-deployed instrumentation and post-mission operator-in-the-loop analysis. The availability of continuous GPS fixes for the host ship and complementary on-ship tracking of the towbody affords the use of commercial systems for geolocation of munitions that have been identified.
This year’s ESTCP Project of the Year for the Munitions Response Program Area was headed by Dr. Kevin Williams from the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington and his team. Dr. Williams’s first goal was to build, test, and demonstrate the system that uses a Multi-Sensor Towbody (MuST) to deploy detection, classification, and geolocation hardware from a surface vessel. The second, complementary goal was to assist in the development of underwater testbeds. Test bed development was identified as a key effort in the overall success of demonstrating the MuST system capability.
Dr. Williams’s project has completed tests in Lake Washington and Sequim Bay, WA to acquire dgeTech uried bject canning ystem (eBOSS) and sonar sidescan data from known munitions and the local environment for the development of munitions classification tools. The towbody system offers operational stability, continuous data acquisition, strap on sensors with low integration cycles, and surface-based power and data handling. Enhancement of the MuST towbody geolocation capability decreases cost of subsequent remediation steps for site managers.
For this important work, Dr. Kevin Williams and his project team received the 2020 ESTCP Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response.