New SERDP Underwater Munitions Response Projects

Three promising new FY 2016 Munitions Response projects, that aim to improve detection and classification of military munitions found at underwater sites, were approved during a recent SERDP Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting.

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The first project to be approved was Elastic Target Modeling for Physics-Based Automatic Classification ( MR-2649), a follow-on of project MR-2324, proposed by Dr. Lane Owsley of the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. The objective of this project is to improve the state of the art in acoustic detection and classification of unexploded ordnance underwater across a wide range of sediment types and burial states. The project team will use finite element modeling to understand the physical basis of each component of the acoustic color plot to advance automated detection and classification for underwater munitions. This study will be augmented with expertise from two other separately-funded SERDP projects, MR-2505 (acoustic wave propagation and target scattering) and MR-2501 (at-sea field measurements and acoustic templates).

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The next project accepted was Underwater Munitions Expert System for Remediation Guidance ( MR-2645), proposed by Dr. Sarah Rennie at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. This follow-on project aims to continue the development of the Underwater Munitions Expert System (UnMES) through incorporation of recent laboratory and field data on munitions mobility and burial. The UnMES system synthesizes databases and models of environmental conditions, along with an understanding of munitions behavior in response to environmental forcing. Other key collaborators in this project include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center.

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The final project to be approved was Advanced Magnetometer System ( MR-2646), proposed by Dr. Rahul Mhaskar of Geometrics, Inc. based in San Jose, California. The objective of this project is to enable integration of miniature laser-pumped cesium magnetometers with Time-Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) systems by improving the magnetometer sensor to function in the presence of an electromagnetic transmitter. The project team will utilize the response of magnetic induction in targets, processing of individual signals, and integrated sensor capabilities to evaluate magnetometer measurement function. The project team also aims to investigate the use of transmitted magnetic fields of differing direction as a novel method of discrimination.

Results from these projects will provide expanded capability to cost-effectively characterize and remediate munitions response sites in the underwater environment and to deploy advanced technologies for a wide diversity of site conditions. Project overviews and documents for these projects will be posted as they become available on the SERDP and ESTCP web site within the Munitions Response Underwater Environments project list.

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