Technical Survey

  • Version
    Ed. 1, Amendment 3
  • Creation
    19 Mar 2019

This standard should be read in conjunction with IMAS 07.11 Land Release and 08.10 Non-technical survey.

Technical survey is an important means of identifying, confirming and improving definitions of the boundaries of hazardous areas and the nature and distribution of their contents. Well planned and justified technical survey methodologies help ensure that any further interventions are necessary and efficient and may allow the confident release of land without the need for further technical interventions. Technical survey may be carried out as an independent activity or it may be integrated with clearance operations.

The purpose of technical survey is to provide evidence for analysis to support the land release decision-making process. It is an intrusive process, using survey and clearance assets, typically into a suspected or confirmed hazardous area, although it may also be used as a method for the initial investigation of areas under some circumstances. Although technical survey may be a separate activity, it is often integrated with clearance and can be undertaken before, during and after clearance, depending upon the local circumstances and information needs of decision-makers.

Any technical survey methodology should be planned such that it provides a very high level of confidence that if hazard items are present they will be indicated. The performance of survey assets against different hazard types should be monitored, through the collection and analysis of appropriate performance data, to develop evidence-based assessments of confidence levels for the indication of targets.

Technical survey does not happen in isolation. It should be planned, implemented and adjusted in light of information obtained through non-technical means, including non-technical survey, and as a result of new information discovered during the technical survey. It should be appropriate to the specific circumstances and conditions associated with the operational site and will often be closely integrated with full clearance. Technical survey is the primary method for defining accurately and with confidence the extent of areas that require clearance, and may be used to support decisions about when and where it is appropriate to stop clearance.

Whenever possible, targeted technical survey is preferable to systematic survey. Circumstances where so little is known about the potential threat that it is impossible to develop a targeted approach should generally be subject to further non-technical effort. Where systematic technical survey is implemented it should be planned such that it provides the desired level of confidence that if hazard items are present at least one piece of evidence of their presence will be encountered and indicated.

Physical evidence of the presence of Explosive Ordnance (EO) is the primary source of ‘hard’ data for analysis about the nature and distribution of hazard items and their relationship with the surrounding environment. As such it is of the utmost value within the land release process and should be treated with the greatest care and attention. There is only one opportunity to record such data; it should not be wasted. Accurate and consistent collection, recording and reporting of data is a basic requirement of any land release process. Standards for such data collection should be defined by NMAAs.

This standard provides guidance and sets out minimum requirements for technical survey so that appropriate national standards can be developed.

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