Since the beginning of World War II, the Department of Defense (DoD) used portions of many Native American lands as bombing and gunnery ranges. Other DoD test sites were also in close proximity to tribal properties and this often led to inadvertent ordnance contamination of the adjacent Native lands. Current ordnance detection techniques are unautomated, labor-intensive, expensive and inefficient. The conventional use of single, hand-held sensors costs $2,000-$5,000 per acre and often leaves more than 60 percent of buried ordnance undetected. To help mitigate some of these issues, ESTCP has funded the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to deploy the MTADS during 1998 at two Native American Reservations with possible ordnance contamination. This builds on previous MTADS validation demonstrations including a 1997 demonstration at the Badlands Bombing Range on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In coordination with and with assistance from the local tribal governments, the MTADS will be used to evaluate the extent of ordnance contamination. As part of the project the surveyed areas will also be partially or completely remediated.

Technology Description

The purpose of this ESTCP project is to deploy the MTADS at two Native American reservations (Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico and Walker River Paiute in Nevada) with possible ordnance contamination. MTADS, originally developed at the NRL with ESTCP funding, is a fully automated system that thoroughly characterizes buried ordnance safely, quickly and economically. The field components of the system include a towed vehicle, active and passive sensor platforms, magnetic reference stations and a Differential Global Positioning System (DPGS) that is used to layout and guide field surveys. The navigation data are used to plot the system position on the surface and, in conjunction with the powerful data analysis tools, coordinate the location information with sensor data streams. This provides survey data densities of several million sensor readings per hectare with location uncertainties of about 5 cm. Data from multiple sensors can be correlated and overlaid or integrated with other photographic or geophysical data or images.

Implementation Issues

MTADS field equipment is extremely rugged, maintenance-free and economical to operate. It represents the most advanced demonstrated UXO detection technology ready for fielding. It will reduce costs and increase operational efficiency dramatically. The demonstrations of MTADS technology on Native American lands will assist the community in evaluating the extent of the ordnance contamination problem, provide a baseline for future remediation operations and facilitate the transfer of this technology to the civilian and commercial communities. (Project Completed - 2000)