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Hidden threats

PES hears from the Belgian company, ADEDE, about the challenges they face during the search for unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the sea and on land. This work is often hazardous and sometimes uncovers some significant archaeological finds.

Offshore UXO survey

The offshore environment provides huge technical challenges, one of which is UXO. And more importantly, which objects are dangerous and which are not?

For offshore surveying we use side scan sonar, multibeam sonar, magnetometry and electromagnetometry or EM. In order to work as efficiently as possible we use these survey methods simultaneously. It means less sails for data gathering and an accurate positioning of anomalies found on and underneath the sea bed. The data sets we produce allow us to make an initial preselection of objects that require further investigation by our dive team. A discarded tyre or oil drum for example could have a magnetic signature similar to UXO. The side scan or multibeam image enables us to exclude harmless obstacles from inspection by divers and focus on the suspect UXO targets.

In circumstances where a diving operation is unadvisable we have our own ROV at our disposal for close up inspection, identification and preparation for safe removal of UXO.

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