WIT Press

Using RFID To Detect UXO Prior To Repurposing Land For Civilian Use


Free (open access)





Page Range

283 - 292




420 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. W. Axelrod


A major issue with repurposing heritage military sites is unexploded ordnance (UXO). The problem exists for firing ranges, minefields and bombed areas, especially when the land reverts to those who fired the projectiles, buried the landmines or dropped the bombs in the first place. UXO can lie buried almost indefinitely; ready to explode if struck accidentally, as when clearing the afflicted land for civilian or other military use. One approach to detecting and identifying such buried UXO is to attach RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags to these objects in order to be able to locate them at some future date. In addition to use for UXO applications, these same RFID tags can also serve to support the management of supply chains and reduce the number of lost, stolen or misplaced live ordnance, as well as duds. With RFID tags in place, individual items can be tracked and alerts issued if any go missing. Ideally, such controls would be applied throughout the manufacturing, distribution, storage and use cycle. When it comes to implementing supply-chain management for live ordnance, there are additional issues, such as interference by and to other wireless signals and accidental activation, to be addressed. This section describes what needs to be done in advance to prepare for future cleanup efforts and suggests that a high return on investment should be achievable from implementing such RFID systems. We also examine the supply-chain management consequences of affixing RFID tags and using readers and tags in environments that may be inhospitable to wireless transmissions.


unexploded ordnance (UXO), radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, projectiles, landmines, bombs, clearing land, repurposing land, civilian use, supply-chain risk management (SCRM), radio-frequency (RF) interference