Excavator-mounted ordnance locating system using electromagnetic sensing technology

Steven J. Lorenc, Leonhard E. Bernold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


There are in excess of 20 million acres of bomb and artillery ranges under the control of the Department of Defense (DoD). Each year some 800,000 to 2,000,000 km2are turned over to civilian (private or commercial) use. Some of this land is contaminated with buried unexploded ordnance (UXO). These UXOs present a safety hazard and raise many environmental concerns. In addition to inaccurate locating, one of the most difficult aspects for the operator of an excavator is the inability to see the target ordnance while it is covered with soil and debris. This paper presents a system which is mounted to the arm of an excavator and is capable of detecting a buried UXO located in the path of an excavator's bucket. Also, the system is able to determine the precise location of the ordnance relative to the excavator's bucket. This information will allow the operator not only to avoid striking the ordnance during the digging operation, but also to expose the object by removing the soil around it. This technology is also capable of locating small UXO which can be buried within the spoil material. This technology has the potential to result in savings of millions of dollars in operating costs and prevent the damage or loss of equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

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