NCPA assists US Navy with search for possible IED detection devices

June 24th, 2013 by Edwin Smith in Earth / Earth Sciences
NCPA Assists U.S. Navy with Search for Possible IED Detection Devices
Masters student Chase Cromwell.


Masters student Chase Cromwell.

As summer heat drives many people to the beach in search of fun in or near the water, University of Mississippi researchers recently went to Pascagoula Beach to conduct measurements designed to help develop systems to detect buried improvised explosive devices – known as IEDs – around the world.

Scientists from UM's National Center for Physical Acoustics are measuring the Rayleigh wave properties of the ground at several geographical locations, covering a spectrum of soils types. The beach site in Pascagoula was selected as one of the sites being representative of a beach environment.

"A Rayleigh wave is a type of seismic wave that propagates very close to the ground surface and depends on the of the soil," said Craig Hickey, interim associate director of applied research and senior research scientist at NCPA. "The goal is to obtain some general knowledge about the behavior of the Rayleigh wave; for instance, how fast and how far it travels and in different types of grounds."

The U.S. military face dangers and delays from mines and IEDs buried and hidden on- and off-route. To mitigate these dangers, the military is developing technology to detect explosive hazards so they can be avoided or cleared to allow safe passage of personnel, equipment and supplies, U.S. Navy officials said.

Results of the measurements may eventually lead to the creation of devices that can detect IEDs in various types of soil, they added.

Rayleigh waves are produced by earthquakes, auto traffic or simply by hitting the ground with a sledgehammer. The ground returns to its original state after the Rayleigh wave passes, resulting in no permanent deformation.

"It is frequently used by near-surface and engineers for nondestructive characterization of building sites for earthquake hazards, searching for groundwater, measuring depth to bedrock, strength of near-surface materials and so forth," Hickey said.

All measurements performed at the site were nondestructive. All tools were man-portable and required a small portable generator to power the electronic equipment. Measurements performed included:

The U.S. Navy is interested in the ground properties of different environments to better understand the impact on various operations.
For more information about the National Center for Physical Acoustics, visit http://ncpa.olemiss.edu/

Provided by University of Mississippi

"NCPA assists US Navy with search for possible IED detection devices." June 24th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-06-ncpa-navy-ied-devices.html