Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
The presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in waters is extensive, as a result of worldwide conflict, military training, and unsophisticated disposal practices. Much of the UXO was dumped prior to any requirement for documentation or geolocation. The AUV technologies developed for Mine Countermeasures can be directly applied to detect, classify, and remediate subsea UXO. The process of detecting and quantifying UXO in ponds, lakes, rivers, coastal waters, and open waters is beyond most other technologies available today.
The promise of AUVs lies in their ability to perform wide area assessments to determine the scope and nature of UXO sites. In addition to the array of sonar-based sensors, the UXO problem requires applying chemical, gradiometric, magnetic, and other new sensors. Besides detection and classification of UXO, AUVs also enable the characterization of the environment of UXO sites, which provides information to assess whether recovery or disposal is required. This avoids the consumption of scarce resources in situations where UXO poses no threat.