Historical UXO research

Before the start of any digging, an assertion of the potential dangers below the soil surface should be made. An historical survey is therefore an essential part of safety procedures. Bom-Be has got just the right assets for such a study. We can count on passionate historians and an exceptionally large archive, allowing us to determine rapidly if the concerned area holds any risks.

Our team is familiar with the international archives and specialised literature, and doesn’t hesitate to set out on research trips to the area in question and the local archives. The results of this research are corroborated with aerial photography interpretation.

The desk survey doesn’t end at the war period. We also determine if the terrain has undergone any changes afterwards, like site raisings, previous UXO clearances or dredging activities.

In conclusion, a preliminary study saves time and money, points out areas at risk, which types of ammunition can be found, in what kind of condition, and until what depth.


Aerial photography interpretation

During the First and Second World War, Belgium was photographed from the air tens of thousands of times. These pictures – stored in national and international archives – are extremely valuable today. Their research, localisation and interpretation require a very specific know-how. For example, our partners have developed a method to compose a 3D image from these photographs, allowing us to identify features like bunkers and bomb craters.

Bom-Be keeps on developing these techniques. Our digital map library is in its last stage of development. UXO experts, archaeologists, geologists or underground infrastructure managers will be the main users. Land and nature governing bodies will also be able to compare the present situation with the past, e.g. concerning the presence of old buildings, forests and other landscape elements.