Passive and Active Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Spectroscopy for Airborne Detection of Underground Facilities

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Geophex, Ltd.
605 Mercury Street, Raleigh, NC, 27603
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. I. J. Won
Technical Director
(919) 839-8515
Business Contact:
Mr. Steven J. Daib
Contract Administrator
(919) 839-8515
Research Institution:
124 Passive and Active Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Spectroscopy for Airborne Detection of Underground Facilities--Geophex, Ltd., 605 Mercury Street, Raleigh, NC 27603-2343; (919) 839-8515 Dr. I. J. Won, Principal Investigator Mr. Steven J. Daib, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-97ER82386 Amount: $74,988 Detection and characterization of illicit underground facilities (UGF) has become one of the major national security issues in recent years. The task ranges from finding hidden weapons of mass destruction to detecting drug-trafficking tunnels across the U.S.-Mexican border. Human activity in these facilities gives off electromagnetic (EM) signals from a variety of sources, such as drilling machinery. This project will develop (1) a passive airborne sensor for measuring the broadband electromagnetic (EM) spectrum covering a bandwidth of 10 Hz to 50 kHz and (2) an active EM induction sensor that can measure spectral response of a suspected UGF. The passive sensor is intended for a wide area search in order to detect specific EM radiation with known spectral contents that may be uniquely related to particular machinery in a UGF. Once a suspect UGF has been located, an active EM source may illuminate the UGF and measure its spectral response. In Phase I a prototype passive Low Frequency Electromagnetic Spectroscopy (LFEMS) system will be designed, fabricated and laboratory tested. The sensor will also undergo limited field testing. A fully field-deployable LFEMS system will be built in Phase II. Work on an active sensor will also be undertaken in this latter phase. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to detecting and characterizing UGFs, the proposed technology also would be applicable to detecting other buried objects, natural or man-made, such as mineral resources, sink holes, underground storage tanks, utility pipes, power lines, and forgotten hazardous landfills.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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