Currently, SERDP and ESTCP are supporting efforts to cost-effectively recover and remove munitions in the underwater environment. Such practices usually involve divers to manually retrieve targets, making it a dangerous and expensive endeavor. Additionally, most underwater sites identified as potentially containing munitions are in shallow water (0-120 feet), which poses a greater risk to the public. For this reason, it is important to focus on safe and efficient methods to remediate underwater munitions that cannot be moved for explosive safety concerns.
SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) projects test a proof of concept over the course of approximately one year. In 2021, SERDP funded five SEED projects aimed at advancing technologies that detect, classify, and remediate military munitions at a variety of underwater sites. A particular need in this area of research is to improve wide area and detailed surveys that would more quickly characterize, map, and detect munitions under complex conditions. Projects also address sensor development, platform integration, analysis methodologies, and large-scale collection of field data at real munitions sites.
These SEED projects allow for greater exploration into novel and emerging technologies that have the potential to advance UXO remediation efforts. To learn more about SERDP and ESTCP munitions response research, browse other projects here.