The objective of this project is to refine and validate statistical representations of high spatial and temporal resolution three-dimensional (3D) profiles of the water surface in the surf zone critical for predicting munitions mobility and burial in shallow coastal environments. The imaging system will enable continuous, detailed observations of individual wave properties as they evolve over shallow bathymetry. The observations will be used to make direct predictions of munitions mobility and burial within the field-of-view of the cameras. Additionally, the observations may be used to validate, initialize, and data assimilate detailed environmental models for shallow water surf zone dynamics that also include munitions phenomenology.

Technical Approach

The project team will apply a novel remote sensing technique to accurately quantify nearshore waves and surge across a broad swath of an energetic beach. The approach uses multiple synchronized video streams to reconstruct the 3D water and beach surfaces at every instant in time. During this study the project team will refine and validate wave statistics by deploying the system during an experiment of opportunity where in situ instruments will be deployed in the field-of-view of the cameras. The project team will evaluate the operational feasibility and accuracy of the relocatable system (called PRISM). The project team will also evaluate the need for edge and cloud computing support to make this tool operationally feasible.


This project will provide a new, low-cost, remote sensing capability to continuously observe nearshore hydrodynamics that drive munitions mobility and burial in shallow coastal environments. The hydrodynamic observations will be directly coupled to existing models for munitions mobility and burial (including UnMES). The novel approach represents risk, but also may provide site managers with a streamlined capability to assess the likelihood of munitions mobility and burial using a low-cost camera system – when compared with the alternative of installing and maintaining in situ instrumentation for long-term data collection. Pending successful results from this project, the project team will recommend a future demonstration project. Note that it's anticipated that PRISM will be readily adaptable to thermal infrared sensors, unoccupied autonomous system, and satellite platforms. Additionally, the technique may be readily adapted to riverine and inland waterways.

  • UXO Burial and Mobility,

  • Munitions Mobility,

  • Mobility and Burial,