Seminar - Phil Mulhearn - Some Research Topics for Sea-mine Countermeasures
Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 1.10 - 1.50 pm
Civil Engineering Lecture Theatre 3
Sea mines can constitute a cheap but very effective means of interfering with shipping in times of armed conflict. Recent examples have been provided by both the Gulf Wars. The speaker worked in this area while he was with the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) and has maintained an interest in some aspects of it.
Topics to be covered are:
- the especial problems associated with buried sea-mines, and the mechanisms by which they become buried;
- the development of a simple, fast way of estimating seabed bearing strength in soft sediments, which is relevant to predicting burial of a mine when it first strikes the seabed;
- a stochastic model for mine-burial prediction, developed in the USA, which is being tested in NATO trials to which the speaker is a party (In actual operations there are a lot of unknowns and working in probabilities is more realistic);
- ongoing research on ultrasonic probing of soft sediments to detect buried artifacts and faunal burrows.
This last would be a development of an existing high frequency acoustic device for imaging objects in very turbid waters. There are plans for it to be used in marine archaeology investigations and as part of collaborative programs with Chinese researchers.