This work package will be focused on identifying and defining the areas for future monitoring. It will include the selection of best equipment, based on the scientific expertise and field tests.
Task. 3.1 Equipment and post-processing methods
WP3 starts with the selection of optimal sensors and equipment. This will include Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) with payload including acoustic sensors and magnetometer, as well as Eco-mapping capabilities and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) equipped with video and acoustic cameras, for objects detection and identification, and multi sample collection system This task will also select the best equipment for the WP4 Monitoring. Based on experience of co-directors, best equipment will be selected and rented for the test purposes.
Test cruises will be performed in month 6. A test cruise will be performed in cooperation with NATO CMRE Center in the Mediterranean Sea in month 6. An additional test cruise, if needed, will be performed in the Baltic Sea in Month 9. If additional tests are needed, they will be extended in month 9.
Data collected within test cruises will be postprocessed to obtain high quality results, and data will be verified by cross comparison of multiple instruments and position data of targets. Methods developed at this stage will be the base for data handling within the project.
A deliverable of the test cruises will be a suitability report of tested equipment for WPs 3 and 4.
After the report is completed, market research will follow for the final selection of criteria for selected equipment. The deliverable of this stage will be the specification of terms of reference to be used in public bidding (open tender) procedure for purchasing the equipment.
When the equipment is purchased, ships taking part in the project (IOPAS, FI, IORAS and LEPA) will be adjusted to handle AUVs and ROVs operating in the project. This will include modifications of existing infrastructure to suite deployments, retrievals and data collection from devices used in the project.
Task 3.2 Area Selection
Basing on the results of past research projects, geographical areas will be selected for survey and monitoring. For this purpose, maps representing known object location and density of survey data will be constructed. This will include several potential areas: primary and secondary dumpsite areas in Bornholm Deep, parts of Gotland Deep dumpsite and Gdańsk Deep. Based on probability of ammunition detection, ecological importance and needed survey time, three areas will be selected for surveying and monitoring activities.
Deliverable of this task will include maps of high and medium priority areas to be covered by survey and monitoring.
Task 3.3 Surveying areas for monitoring
After the completion of previous activities, missions will be commenced with the use of AUVs and ROVs.
Missions will be performed from the ships participating in the project, using as little ship time as possible – possibly in parallel with other research activities. Also, suitability of small boats will be assessed to perform AUV missions. Two types of surveys are predicted – Area Wide Assessment (AWA) and a Detailed Survey and Investigation (DSI). At the beginning of the project, AWA missions will be commenced in previously (3.2) defined areas, starting with high priority and extending to medium priority if time permits. During AWA missions, AUV will be deployed with acoustic and magnetometric gear in a densely spaced grid to detect the objects resting on the sea bottom. Data will be received and post-processed by project geophysicists and provided to project data center to evaluate object classes, and probability of the object being sea- dumped chemical munitions. Most promising (class 1) objects will be included in DSI. DSI will use AWA data to visit class 1 objects by ROV and provide visual or high resolution acoustic data from different angles to prepare the list of chemical munitions objects to be used in WP4 Monitoring. Further reduction of false-positive targets, especially from buried objects, will be possible by the use of larger ROV, capable of careful uncovering of munitions covered by mud. Due to limited funds, such ROV will be used only in the Bornholm dumpsite, for a 10 day campaign, including transit and downtime in case of bad weather. Project team will investigate additional funding sources to enhance this type of survey also to other areas. Quality management of data will be provided by performing periodic tests and calibration of survey equipment – by means of external experts from NATO CMRE participating in project cruises and by calibrating equipment in controlled harbor conditions.
Milestones for this period will include detailed maps of future monitoring areas and a list of probable CWA objects therein. An idea is to have a representative portion of the dumpsite thoroughly mapped, which will serve as a sound base for monitoring and risk assessment. This work package represents 20% of the project success.