ESTCP has sponsored the development of technologies capable of detecting and remediating unexploded ordnance (UXO) in nearshore environments, specifically the development of specialized mobility and sensing platforms that are capable of operating in the beach, surf, and tidal areas for many years.
This year’s ESTCP Project of the Year was headed by Dr. Greg Schultz from White River Technologies, and his project team. Dr. Schultz’s project began with an assessment of existing amphibious platforms and their capabilities of towing electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensors in nearshore environments. This assessment included the potential impact of each platform on the underwater environment and each system was assessed for use in environmentally sensitive areas.
After evaluating various platforms and technologies, Dr. Schultz and his team developed and demonstrated a robotic crawler-based UXO detection system, using commercially-available EM sensors and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) positioning hardware and software. Dr. Schultz’s newly developed system is capable of collecting high quality EMI data in nearshore environments and incorporates an integrated navigation and control system for the acquisition and quantification of high-resolution surveys. The system was evaluated in multiple test site environments, each of which had various sediment types and characteristics.
This project provides multiple benefits to the Department of Defense, including increased remediation capabilities, improved remediation efficiency, and reductions in environmental liabilities. Because this UXO survey system is capable of operating in the nearshore environment, it both fills important capability gaps for remediation of UXO and expands the ability to remediate UXO that are historically difficult to detect, monitor, and likely to be encountered by the public.
For this important work, Dr. Greg Schultz and his project team received the 2018 ESTCP Project of the Year Award for Munitions Response.