The rugged apparatus known as a “quadpod,” was built to withstand being on the bottom of the ocean for weeks at a time, measuring waves, currents, and seafloor change.
“It’s equipped with imaging sonar to capture the motion and burial of munitions on the seafloor,” said Joseph Calantoni, head of NRL’s Sediment Dynamics Section at SSC.
Calantoni, a research physicist, leads a team of 12 scientists and engineers. Their mission is to make predictions of the subaqueous environment for the Navy, “and exploit these predictions to improve underwater acoustic communications, improve our ability to find buried objects and the Navy’s capacity to put troops on the beach.
“We spend a significant amount of time determining what conditions can move unexploded ordnances (UXOs) around the seafloor. That’s where the quadpod comes in,” he said.
To accomplish their munitions research, Calantoni and his team fabricate replica UXOs with the same shape, size, and density of real ordnances found unexploded on the seafloor.
“The focus of this research is to understand how the waves and currents either transfer or bury these unexploded bombs,” Calantoni said.