09 March 2022
Together with project partners, the LZH is developing a process to defuse world war ammunition under water using a laser. The goal: to affect the ecosystem as little as possible while saving time and costs.
In the North and Baltic Sea, approximately 1.6 million tons of war ammunition lie on the seabed. The danger of unforeseen detonations is not the only problem. Over time, the water causes the steel shell of the explosive ordnance to corrode, releasing the explosives into the sea – with significant consequences for humans, animals and the entire ecosystem. Removing explosive ordnance, however, is a challenge: blasting underwater is not only dangerous, it also creates significant pressure waves and affects the sea dwellers that live there. Also, unreacted, environmentally harmful explosives can spread in the sea after detonation. In the project UNLOWDET, scientists of the LZH are working on a solution together with the companies LASER on demand GmbH and EGGERS Kampfmittelbergung GmbH: They are researching how to defuse explosive ordnance underwater remotely controlled by a laser. Thereby, the impact of the blasting on the environment shall be reduced.