Development of a P-Wave Transponder System for Tracking Buried Objects in 1-g and Geotechnical Centrifuge Models

Ryan D. Beemer, Andrew Van Dam, Mark Cassidy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    Locating and tracking buried objects underground can be a difficult task especially in the case of plate anchors in soft clays. These plates, used offshore, gain their large vertical capacity by being embedded deep into the seafloor. Most commonly they are installed by either dragging horizontally tens to hundreds times their fluke length (drag embedment anchors) or by a suction caisson, which is then removed, and then dragging the anchor multiple fluke lengths, (suction embedded plate anchors). They can be extremely cost effective given their capacity to weight ratios, but they also have significant uncertainty in their capacity since plate anchor installation depths are exceedingly difficult to measure and predict. These difficulties exist not only in the field, but also in the laboratory. In the past decade significant progress has been made towards measuring plate anchor kinematics in 1-g laboratory experiments with the development of magnetometer tracking systems and translucent soil simulates. However, these methods are not easily transferable to the geotechnical centrifuge, where models with field scale effective stresses can be tested. In this paper we propose a new method for tracking plate anchors within a soft clay small scale model using an acoustic transponder attached directly to the plate anchor. We demonstrate the systems feasibility with analytical calculations and a prototype experiment in water. Though this active acoustic system is being developed for plate anchors in clay it could be used to detect the location and trajectory of any object buried in soil.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGeotechnical Frontiers 2017
    Subtitle of host publicationgeotechnical materials, modeling and testing
    EditorsThomas L. Brandon, Richard J. Valentine
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
    Number of pages11
    EditionGSP 280
    ISBN (Electronic)9780784480472
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017
    EventGeotechnical Frontiers 2017: Geotechnical Materials, Modeling, and Testing - Orlando, Florida, United States
    Duration: 12 Mar 201715 Mar 2017

    Publication series

    NameGeotechnical Special Publication
    NumberGSP 280
    ISSN (Print)0895-0563


    ConferenceGeotechnical Frontiers 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


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