NAEVA Poster Presentation at NAOC 2013 General Membership Meeting

At the evening Poster Session during the NAOC 2013 General Membership Meeting, NAEVA presented a technical poster titled Perspectives on the State of Technology Transfer of Advanced Sensors and Classification Methods for MMRP Projects. The use of anomaly classification techniques in concert with advanced EM sensors offers the possibility of a significant step forward in UXO detection and removal. By using these instruments and techniques, contractors hope to greatly reduce the overall number of intrusive digs while increasing the likelihood that each dig will result in a UXO. During the past five years, NAEVA has participated in supervised training, technology demonstrations, and live site investigations at 10 sites throughout the US using a variety of advanced sensors in both dynamic and cued modes. Taken with NAEVA’s 18 years of experience performing DGM for UXO detection, this creates a unique position to evaluate the advantages and challenges of transferring classification from R&D to production UXO removal projects.

The use of the new class of advanced geophysical sensors begins with the completion of a successful detection survey. This step is currently followed by a cued investigation and advanced classification of the selected targets. Expectations in the R&D community are that dynamic surveys with advanced sensors will eventually be used for classification, eliminating the need for separate cued surveys. Overall results to date have been encouraging but significant challenges remain. Challenges in implementing the systems in the field include the reliability of the equipment on longer projects and addressing difficult terrain that can create suboptimal sensor height and degrade data positioning. Challenges for classification processing include the significant time currently required for analysis, the large volumes of resultant data that are generated, ensuring that the classification library includes the specific UXO of interest, and the fact that software and classification algorithms remain in development.
In addition to the challenges presented during the use of the new instruments and analysis techniques, unique management and contracting considerations must also be anticipated. Current industry standards for QA/QC will have to be adjusted to account for a method in which detected targets are intentionally left behind. When managing the project schedule, sufficient flexibility must be built-in to account for the unpredictable duration of the classification process. Performance-based contracting, as currently implemented, will be challenging since the effectiveness of advanced classification processing at a given site (and thus the total number of digs) will not be known until the classification is complete.

The new generation of advanced sensors are allowing for the first time reliable target classification for UXO. Acknowledging and addressing the remaining challenges will speed the adoption of these techniques at production UXO removal projects.

Presentation

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2013 NAOC General Meeting Poster

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