ESTCP 2014 Project-of-the-Year Award for Munitions Response
(Initially Released December 8, 2014) An innovative sensor system, demonstrated in a series of ESTCP-funded studies, could save DoD billions of dollars by dramatically increasing the efficiency of munitions response actions at former testing and training ranges around the country.
In a traditional remedial action for munitions, the site is mapped using a metal detector and the locations of all detections are investigated by digging. In most cases, less than 1% of the detections are munitions – the overwhelming majority of metal detections are from fragments of munitions that detonated, parts of targets, and other debris that may not even be from military activities, such as wire, nails, and horseshoes. Thus, this method expends a significant fraction of resources digging up metal scrap or other items that turn out not to be hazardous. Advanced electromagnetic induction sensors collect data that allows an analyst to determine properties of the buried metal objects that can be used to classify them as either munitions or not. Classification using these sensors has been shown to significantly reduce the cost of a munitions response.
In a series of ESTCP studies, Dr. Steinhurst and Mr. Harbaugh of Nova Research and Dr. Bell of Leidos Inc., together with their teams, demonstrated the value of the cart-mounted Time-domain Electromagnetic Multi-sensor Towed Array Detection System (TEMTADS) sensor system for this classification process. Their work has systematically improved the ruggedness and ease of use of the technology, and over the past year, they have teamed with a number of production remediation firms in the use of the technology. A commercial version of their system will soon be available from Geometrics, Inc. of San Jose, CA.
For this impressive work, Dr. Steinhurst, Dr. Bell, and Mr. Harbaugh and their project team received the 2014 ESTCP Project-of-the-Year Award for Munitions Response. Project Overview