Typically sites containing unexploded ordnance (UXO) encompass thousands of acres, with many exceeding 10,000 acres. A comprehensive wide area assessment (WAA) program can have an immediate impact on the UXO remediation problem. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of the 10 million acres suspected to be contaminated with UXO are, in fact, free of UXO. A technology that can accurately delineate the areas on each site that are and, more importantly, are not contaminated would lead to an immediate reduction by 80 percent of the area that must be carefully examined and cleaned. The ESTCP Wide Area Assessment (WAA) Program was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of various technologies, either alone or in combination, as tools for WAA at Department of Defense sites.
The objective of this project was to demonstrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Technologies (IT) concurrently with the WAA technology demonstrations, integrating datasets from each demonstration into one internet-accessible Enterprise GIS. The five ESTCP WAA Program demonstration sites included: Pueblo Precision Bombing Range #2, Colorado; Kirtland Precision Bombing Ranges, New Mexico; Victorville Precision Bombing Ranges, California; Borrego Maneuver Area, California; and Former Camp Beale, California.
The project successfully demonstrated the value of GIS and geospatial technologies to integrate multiple-sensor and multiple-scale WAA datasets. These results include demonstration of enterprise-class GIS capabilities in a collaborative on-line environment and facilitation of intra-project spatial data communications and analyses; establishment of a geospatial environment for storing ground truth and fiducial datasets; development of a geospatial modeling framework for combining individual sensor survey and analysis results into a comprehensive, multiple-input assessment of munitions contamination characteristics and distribution across each demonstration site; and development of a geodatabase schema to implement the Conceptual Site Models for each site.
These technologies also successfully supported the general goals of the ESTCP WAA Program to establish technically achievable and regulator-acceptable processes for characterizing large munitions response areas (MRA), delineation of associated munitions response site (MRS) boundaries, and provision of reliable data that could be used to support regulatory disposition of non-MRS portions of MRAs.
For future production-level WAA on munitions response sites, the integration of sensor technology results with base-mapping and archival information represents a cost benefit to the overall remediation project. These benefits carry beyond the site remediation project to future uses of the site, both through the establishment of baseline aerial photography and detailed engineering-quality terrain data and the delineation of munitions-related site constraints and future development requirements in a standardized, multiple-use, consolidated data entity.