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Title: Detecting Surface Changes from an Underground Explosion in Granite Using Unmanned Aerial System Photogrammetry

Efficient detection and high-fidelity quantification of surface changes resulting from underground activities are important national and global security efforts. In this investigation, a team performed field-based topographic characterization by gathering high-quality photographs at very low altitudes from an unmanned aerial system (UAS)-borne camera platform. The data collection occurred shortly before and after a controlled underground chemical explosion as part of the United States Department of Energy’s Source Physics Experiments (SPE-5) series. The high-resolution overlapping photographs were used to create 3D photogrammetric models of the site, which then served to map changes in the landscape down to 1-cm-scale. Separate models were created for two areas, herein referred to as the test table grid region and the nearfield grid region. The test table grid includes the region within ~40 m from surface ground zero, with photographs collected at a flight altitude of 8.5 m above ground level (AGL). The near-field grid area covered a broader area, 90–130 m from surface ground zero, and collected at a flight altitude of 22 m AGL. The photographs, processed using Agisoft Photoscan® in conjunction with 125 surveyed ground control point targets, yielded a 6-mm pixel-size digital elevation model (DEM) for the test table grid region. Thismore » provided the ≤3 cm resolution in the topographic data to map in fine detail a suite of features related to the underground explosion: uplift, subsidence, surface fractures, and morphological change detection. The near-field grid region data collection resulted in a 2-cm pixel-size DEM, enabling mapping of a broader range of features related to the explosion, including: uplift and subsidence, rock fall, and slope sloughing. This study represents one of the first works to constrain, both temporally and spatially, explosion-related surface damage using a UAS photogrammetric platform; these data will help to advance the science of underground explosion detection.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Coppersmith Consulting Inc., Walnut Creek, CA (United States)
  3. Gresham Smith and Partners, Nashville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0033-4553
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Pure and Applied Geophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Pure and Applied Geophysics; Journal ID: ISSN 0033-4553
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Photogrammetry; unmanned aerial systems; change detection; underground explosions
OSTI Identifier: