ESTCP 2021 Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response
Many active and former military installations have ordnance ranges and training areas with adjacent waters in which unexploded ordnance (UXO) now exist due to wartime activities, dumping, and accidents. Researchers have exploited low frequency sonars that experience lower absorption in the sediment and can detect buried objects.
The 2021 ESTCP Project of the Year for Munitions Response was headed by Dr. Joseph Bucaro and Dr. Brian Houston from the Naval Research Laboratory and their team. The project team’s first goal was to demonstrate the ability of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)-based sonars to detect and classify proud and buried UXO in a shallow water area. The second goal was to assess the cost and performance of this technology.
In previous SERDP projects (MR-1513, MR-2103), the project team explored and successfully developed the sonar technology for detection and classification of underwater proud and buried UXO. A principal innovation introduced in these efforts was the exploitation of acoustic color to support target classification. The team’s improved system (the Skyfish) was designed to add to this imaging capability the ability to generate high quality acoustic color maps to support feature-based target identification. The Skyfish was demonstrated in Boston Harbor scanning three blind target fields.
For this important work, Dr. Joseph Bucaro and his project team received the 2021 ESTCP Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response.