Seitec returns from collection mission at Woomera Test Range in regional South Australia.

Seitec’s intrepid travellers, Daniel, Bevan, and Yo have returned from a 10-day field test at RAAF Base Woomera, in South Australia – their mission? Data collection and testing of UXOTrackS (Unexploded Ordnance Tracking System), in a ‘real-world’ environment.

The successful exercise was preceded by a massive team effort ensuring that the systems were ready to be deployed, and successfully operated under some truly harsh conditions. And harsh they were! The field test team dealt with high wind gusts, multiple 46°C heatwave days, copious amounts of dust and local fauna (snakes, emus, ‘roos and… cows!)

The extreme temperatures allowed for the test (setup, operation and system maintenance / recovery) to be carried out in an environment that would truly push all components to their limits – ensuring system functionality in real-world conditions. This also allowed the on-ground crew to explore options for cost-effective, passive cooling options which can be carried forward throughout the life of the product.

UXOTrackS node prototype ready for deployment.

The UXOTrackS node prototype, ready for deployment.

The UXOTrackS prototype and solar panel installed at WTR.

The UXOTrackS prototype and solar panel installed at WTR. 

With all components in place after day one, Seitec worked on site and remotely, to ensure the components were operating effectively to collect the required data sets. Once components were ready, multiple explosive serials were run under the watchful eye of the Woomera Test Range operators throughout the duration of the eight days of active testing. In one serial, three detonations were initiated simultaneously to test the capability of simultaneous detonation delineation. This, along with a range of other serials, enabled the capture of data for the verification and advancement of our complex detection and localisation algorithms. 

Three simultaneous explosions of Mk82 500lb bombs are clearly identified in the below seismic trace as separate detonations by a sensor approximately 2km away.  

The data captured provided invaluable information to advance the product while also revealing some anomalies and outliers which will require further investigation and trials.  

Upon completion of the trip, Daniel reflected on our success, “overall, the issues experienced are inherent while developing a first of type system, and the implementation of thoroughly researched and engineered solutions will significantly enhance its reliability for future applications.”  

The Seitec team has once again put their noses to the grindstone, pressing forward to apply necessary changes and updates to UXOTrackS for further field testing, and forward planning for sustainment.