Presented on January 12, 2023  | Presentation Slides



“Development of an Underwater Demonstration Site for the Detection, Classification and Localization of UXO” by Dr. Joe Haxel and Dr. Dana Woodruff (ESTCP Project MR21-7564)

Developing technologies for detection and classification of UXO requires standardized test sites where performance can be evaluated in a realistic environment under controlled conditions using inert and surrogate munitions. Land-based test sites have been established in the United States; however, underwater munitions sites are more difficult to access and present unique challenges for remediation system developers. ESTCP supports the development of standardized underwater demonstration sites which are important for controlled performance evaluation of underwater munition detection technologies in their progression toward operational status. This ongoing project focuses on a phased approach to establish and operate an underwater test site in Sequim Bay, a non-urban coastal embayment in Washington State. The test site encompasses 3.5 km2 in 5-30 m water depth with varying sediment types. It has been used recently to support informal and formally scored demonstrations of acoustic and electromagnetic induction technologies for detection, classification and localization of inert and surrogate UXO. This presentation will describe the development phases of the Sequim Bay underwater demonstration site from early planning to maintenance and operational status. Test site considerations and lessons learned will be discussed including environmental setting, permitting, target test bed design, diver emplacement-geolocation-recovery of targets, ground-truth data collection, and operational support for remediation system developers.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Dana Woodruff is a Senior Research Scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL) Coastal Sciences Division in Sequim Washington. Since 2016, she has been involved in the development of the SERDP-funded Sequim Bay underwater demonstration site for evaluation of underwater munition remediation technologies. Dr. Woodruff currently serves as the project manager for continued operation of the test site. She has over 30 years of experience in coastal aquatic research, with a background in coastal remote sensing, benthic habitat mapping, and water column dynamics related to biological attributes. She has served as principal and co-principal investigator on projects funded by SERDP, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and has authored/co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Woodruff received her doctoral degree in environmental science from the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Joe Haxel is an Earth Scientist in the Coastal Sciences Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Sequim, Washington. He has served as a principal and co-principal investigator of projects funded by SERDP, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation for research using underwater acoustics for geophysical, biological and anthropogenic studies in shallow and deep-water marine environments. He has participated in more than 50 oceanographic cruises (18 as chief scientist) and has authored and co-authored 50 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Haxel served as guest editor for a recent special issue in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. He received his doctoral degree from Oregon State University.