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FEATURE SPONSOR


UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE DEALING WITH


Understanding that clearance is an exercise in risk and cost reduction, not complete elimination of threat, allows responsibilities to be clear from the outset. Owners retain the ultimate duty of care and responsibility, but contractors are best placed to define clearance locations and methodologies as they know their resources and activities.


CLEARANCE IS BROKEN DOWN INTO FOUR DISTINCT, SEQUENTIAL ACTIVITIES…


1. Desktop study to assess the level of threat and risk


2. Geophysical survey to locate non- UXO and potential UXO objects


3. Identification of potential UXO objects by direct inspection and/or remote sensing


4. Disposal of actual UXO objects in accordance with prevailing national requirements


COST


The cost of clearance is determined by the outcomes of each of these activities. Desktop studies inform whether subsequent activities are required. Surveys result in re-routing around avoidable potential UXO targets and lists of unavoidable targets to be positively identified. Disposal may result in transportation off-site or to shore if safe to do so, or detonation on site if not. Survey has a relatively small cost impact but results in numerous objects for identification, requiring far more expensive resources over much longer durations. Disposal is not usually a major cost impact or driver and so optimising survey and identification are key to cost and risk reduction. In the author’s experience, identification accounts for over 75% of clearance cost and schedule.


SUCCESSFUL OPTIMISATION


SMC DELIVERS THE MOST APPROPRIATE PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL CLIENT


GEOPHYSICAL TECHNOLOGIES


Geophysical technologies include sonars, magnetics to detect ferro-magnetic content and electromagnetics to detect any metal content; these always require ground-truthing to provide definitive answers. Detection is predominantly by passive magnetic survey, which suffers from the inability to resolve uniquely between target depth and size. Vertical gradiometer arrays are now proposed for improved noise suppression and detection, though horizontal gradiometry may offer the same benefits using time-series data filtering or through calculated horizontal gradients.


The greatest optimisation could be achieved by more definitive geophysical technologies, reducing more expensive direct inspections. One US technology developer is presently validating a three- dimensional marine electromagnetic imaging system, which has achieved repeatable UXO classification without false negatives in independent US DOD tests. The end game is essentially not to have to ‘dig up’ each potential UXO object in order to achieve positive identification.


Hardeep Sidhu Cetus Innovate


UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE


An emotive and challenging subject in the marine environment to ensure that the risk of encounter is ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ (‘ALARP’), as is the effort required for ‘clearance’ prior to the start of works that interact with the seabed


SCAN/CLICK


MORE INFO


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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