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Wide Area UXO Screening with the Multi-Sensor Fixed-wing Airborne System MARS, Former Kirtland Precision Bombing Range, NM

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The objective of this project was to demonstrate and certify a fixed-wing platform for low-cost, high-resolution wide area assessment WAA of former and active military facilities contaminated with unexploded ordnance UXO. The Minimum Altitude Remote Sensing MARS airborne UXO mapping system was developed, successfully tested, and deployed in Europe by SeaTerra GmbH in Germany. The principal objectives of this demonstration were to test and evaluate the MARS system in the United States and compare the performance, results, and cost to HeliMag technology. The site selected for demonstration was the Former Kirtland Precision Bombing Range KPBR, located near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sky Research, Inc. SKY acquired the CT Short Wing SW model light sport aircraft LSA for this demonstration. This model lightweight aircraft, a slightly different model than the one used by SeaTerra in Europe, did not affect the deployment of the technology. The aircraft has an 8.9 meter wingspan, a length of 6.2 meters, and can fly at a minimum height above ground of 2 meters. It uses modern German glider structural design techniques and is essentially all-composite glass fiber reinforced plastic with very little ferrous metal and a low signature footprint. An array of six Geometrics Model 822A cesium vapor magnetometer sensors was mounted on a sensor boom attached to the aircraft wings. The sensors were deployed at separations between 1.15 and 2.0 meters. SeaTerras AGS MK3 frequency counter and data acquisition system DAS were used to record data at between 140 to 160 Hertz Hz with a 0.2 nanotesla nT noise floor on the outer sensors and 0.5-0.7 nT noise floor on the inner sensors after processing. Daily flight durations were planned to be approximately 6 hours per day assuming an 8-hour daily window for flying.

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  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Ammunition and Explosives
  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control
  • Ecology

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