Identifying A Geophysics Winning Streak

Operating a Dynamic Man-Portable Vector (MPV) Sensor at Hurricane Mesa Test Site in Utah.

Our munitions response team is on a winning streak this year thanks to the foresight of geophysicists and project managers who, 15 years ago, recognized the opportunity potential in emerging sensor technology. Now called advanced geophysical classification (AGC) sensors, our expertise with this technology differentiated Parsons’ capabilities from those of competitors leading to wins in each of the five competitive bids this fiscal year against four other contractors, 100% success on multiple award contracts, and more than 50% success on opportunities to support small business prime contractors in competitive bids.

AGC pairs high resolution sensors with modern data analysis that can identify if a buried object likely poses an explosives hazard. We participated in the first field pilot test in 2007 and have continued to play a leading role.

“While many contractors resisted AGC, Parsons embraced the new technology, actively sought out opportunities to participate in demonstration projects, and invested in new AGC equipment,” said Craig Murray, our Geophysics Technical Staff Manager. “Our customers saw that Parsons was committed to working with them to improve the munitions cleanup process and responded by awarding some of the most complex and challenging AGC projects to Parsons.”

Our team was the first firm to achieve accreditation to implement AGC in 2017, and we’ve successfully implemented AGC on 23 projects across the United States. We pioneered a handheld digital mapper (PDM8®) that can be used on steep and rugged terrain, applied Machine Learning based analysis to light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, and continue to create new code to optimize marketed AGC software. We’re constantly innovating because when we find a need, we meet it.

Parsons recognized a growth opportunity where many of our competitors saw munitions response as a mature business and focused on controlling costs instead of innovation. When I was hired on in 2019 after 17 years of working for various competitors, it was like stepping up from the minor leagues onto a major league team in terms of the capabilities and support available to us.”

Darrell Hall, Parsons Geophysics Quality Manager

We are world leaders in munitions response geophysics because we not only embraced AGC in its infancy, but we also invested in the geophysics team. Our world class team of over 40 geophysicists and geologists who are trained in geophysical mapping data collection and processing provide a wealth of expertise. Experienced in the full gamut of sensors and varying terrains, we’re able to propose the best approach for the job. We know what works and what does not because we have most likely already done it.

Parsons AGC presence through 2022.
About The Author

Laura Arciniaga is a Senior Project Manager with the Federal Environmental Team. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in the environmental field. Her expertise is in managing U.S. federal contracts consisting of multi-disciplinary technical teams in the investigation, remediation, and closure of former military munitions sites. Her first job after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Geology was at Parsons. She left to join the Peace Corps, went on to receive a Master of Applied Geography in Water Policy, worked on water availability issues in the non-profit sector, and came full circle back to Parsons to continue her career in environmental remediation. She currently manages geophysical investigations across 26,000 acres of Hawai’i, the Big Island.  

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