Equipment detects unexploded ordnance on site

27 June 2017 | By James Kenny

The technology could help detect unexploded ordnance on construction sites (

An Australian company has developed technology to better detect unexploded bombs buried beneath construction sites.

Gap EOD has customised equipment originally developed for the resources sector which will now allow for ultra-high definition digital mapping of sites.

Named the UltraTEM system, it uses sensors to distinguish closely spaced individual targets, providing accurate estimates of object position and depth and producing auditable digital recording of all data.

According to the company, the equipment can scan up to 3.5m in depth around a site and overall is a faster technique then more traditional methods of detecting unexploded ordnance (UXO).

UXO is a threat to developers and subcontractors on construction sites around the world because any underground activity, such as the laying of pipelines and cables or foundation works, can dislodge and potentially detonate them.

The company was recently called to sweep Portsmouth Harbour due to concerns an unexploded German sea mine from the Second World War might be encountered during dredging work.

Dr Stephen Billings, director at Gap EOD, explained: “We found a large unexploded German bomb in Portsmouth, resulting in the harbour’s immediate closure and controlled detonation of the weapon.”

He says the new system and equipment has taken seven years to develop and his team has also recently been commissioned to sweep for projectiles along the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos, where 80 unexploded bombs are believed to remain from the Vietnam War.

Image: Leonid Spektor/

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