Special Event

Classification of UXO using advanced electromagnetic data

June 10, 2015
Denver Marriott West
Denver, Colorado


This poster session will take place during the ESTCP/NAOC Technology Transfer Workshop and the authors will be on hand to answer any questions. To attend the workshop visit the event registration page.


Darren Mortimer and Nick Valleau, Geosoft Inc.
Dean Keiswetter and Tom Furuya, Acorn SI


During a munitions clean-up project, we want to separate harmless scrap metal targets (“clutter”) from UXO targets, so that the clutter can be left unexcavated, or can be excavated in a less costly way. This decision process, called “classification”, has the potential to save millions of dollars on cleanup sites in the US.

Classification (or “discrimination”) is the process of analyzing data to decide whether each target is a hazard or not, and even deciding which specific type of munition may be present. Reliable classification of suspected UXO targets using advanced electromagnetic (EM) sensor survey data is now available. Classification decisions are based on principled physics-based analysis that is transparent and reproducible. These technologies and processes have been thoroughly proven in live-site demonstrations sponsored by the ESTCP (Environmental Security Technology Certification Program).

This poster provides a high-level overview of the data processing and analysis workflow for UXO classification and is aimed at managers and regulators. We focus on the use of advanced EM sensors, as this is standard practice in the US. The process is applicable to both static data (collected at each target after a standard target detection survey) and dynamic data (collected in moving survey mode).

The workflow includes Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) processes, data corrections, target picking, inversions, analysis and classification steps. Reporting and visualization are required to present and archive results at various stages, and to document dig list and QA decisions in an auditable, transparent manner. All these capabilities and their deliverables are provided in the Oasis montaj software package as part of the UX-Analyze module, built with ESTCP funding (Geosoft, 2014).  Work is under way to bring these tools to a commercial level and to support the DoD QAPP (Quality Assurance Project Plan) guidelines, for routine production use in 2015.

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