Since the beginning of World War II, many Department of Defense (DoD) activities, including weapons testing and practice bombing, have been conducted on Native American lands or on DoD installations located in the vicinity of Native American lands. Some activities have resulted in ordnance debris being left on these lands. One such site is the Badlands Bombing Range (BBR) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Currently, ordnance detection techniques are unautomated, labor intensive, expensive, and inefficient. In partnership with the Pine Ridge Community, the Multi-Sensor Towed Array Detection System (MTADS) was used to survey several areas of the Reservation. This project demonstrated a fully automated system that thoroughly characterizes buried ordnance safely, quickly, and economically.
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), with assistance from DoD's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), supported an effort at the Pine Ridge Reservation BBR to demonstrate a fully automated detection system using multiple sensor arrays, satellite navigation, and a Differential Global Position System (DGPS). MTADS is a vehicle-towed system that employs magnetic and pulsed-induction sensors, allowing the user to see through shallow near-surface clutter and to distinguish real targets from false positives. MTADS field equipment is extremely rugged, maintenance-free, and economical to operate. Data collected in the field are downloaded to an analysis workstation, and maps are automatically generated showing buried targets. Data from multiple sensors can be correlated and overlaid or integrated with other photographic or geophysical data and images. Sophisticated data analysis algorithms analyze targets and identify the size, depth, and location of buried ordnance.
MTADS surveyed over 150 acres at two locations at BBR, designated BBR1 and BBR2. Over 1,200 targets were detected and analyzed at BBR 1 and BBR 2. Of these, approximately 400 targets were selected for remediation. Of the 146 targets dug at BBR 1, 70 were M38, 100 pound (lb) practice bombs and four were sand-filled M59 GP bombs. About 10 percent of these targets had intact black powder spotting charges, which were detonated in place. In addition, three 2.25 inch (in.) subcalibar aerial rockets (SCAR) and one 2.75 in. rocket warhead were remediated. At BBR2, 255 targets were dug, including an additional 17 M38, 100 lb practice bombs. A total of 28 SCARs and 11 intact 2.75 in. rocket warheads were recovered. Many more fragmented rockets and warheads were remediated. More than 95 percent of all dug targets were located with a postitional accuracy of less than 29 centimeters (cm); the postitional accuracy was 12 cm. Average depths were correct to within 20 percent of the value calculated by the MTADS Data Analysis System. The project team is confident that the MTADS represents a more cost-efficient and effective survey tool as compared to the unautomated "mag and flag" sytstem, particularly in scenarios where remediation is required.
In surveying ordnance, MTADS will reduce costs and increase operational efficiency dramatically. The demonstration at the Pine Ridge BBR provided assistance to the community in evaluating the extent of the ordnance contamination problem, establishing a baseline for future remediation operations, and facilitating the transfer of this technology to the civilian and commercial communities. (Project Completed - 1997)