Range clearance operations must distinguish near-surface clutter from unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosively filled surface UXO from inert ordnance. The neutron interrogation technology Pulsed ELemental Analysis with Neutrons (PELAN) system shows considerable promise for discriminating UXO at a significantly reduced cost. This project's objective is to construct and deploy a system that integrates design features developed previously for PELAN.

Technology Description

PELAN is a neutron-induced gamma ray spectroscopy system that can quickly identify the filler material of exposed UXO as explosive or inert. Using the elemental signatures from the target, PELAN can determine if the object contains explosive or inert filler. The system is operated remotely with a laptop controller. At the conclusion of the scan, the display indicates to the operator the declared filler type and provides the data used to make the determination. The advanced PELAN system configuration developed in this project will be designed to examine surface and near-surface targets with multiple downward pointing detectors for an improved signal-to-noise ratio and reduced inspection time. This project also will investigate new high-resolution detector technology for increased performance. The system will incorporate advanced algorithms and processing techniques developed in SERDP projects MR-1383 and MR-1384 to improve UXO discrimination. The advanced PELAN system will be demonstrated at UXO remediation sites and in controlled tests at Indian Head, Maryland.

Implementation Issues

Current procedures used in discriminating UXO from inert ordnance assume that the ordnance contains explosives if markings that indicate the item is inert are not visible. Therefore, the cleanup process can be labor-intensive, slow, and costly. The advanced PELAN system is expected to provide significant cost savings by identifying the UXO filler material quickly and reliably.