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Army

UNIT soil testing device

Accurate ultrasonic testing of near-surface soil behavior under static and dynamic water flow conditions

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Small seismic sensors are routinely used for the purpose of border control, civilian and government security, geological research, asset protection, and many other applications which can gain insight from sound waves propagating in the earth. However, placing seismic sensors in the ground and recording seismic events provides only data. To yield information, that data must be correlated with known seismic signatures which provide the knowledge that the vibration is a single individual versus a group of people or small herd of animals. Complicating all of this is the fact that seismic sensors are placed in soil that differs from one foot to the next, such that the waves propagating within the soil vary from location to location. A better understanding of seismic response variability for different soil profiles, geological conditions, environments, and climates – all of those instances that occur outside of the laboratory – is needed.

To address the above, Army researchers have developed a more real-world test chamber for characterizing soil conditions and testing seismic monitors. The test chamber allows seismic system designers to test instruments under variable soil conditions such as soil type, fluid flow and drainage, moisture levels, compactness, and other variables that affect seismic wave propagation.

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