May 19, 2009

New land mine detection facility created

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say they have created a testing facility designed to assist in the improvement of land mine detection equipment.

Scientists said they will use the test facility to evaluate and enhance sensors designed to detect buried land mines by use of an automated system that measures the response of individual electromagnetic induction sensors or arrays of sensors against land mines buried at many possible angles.

The researchers said electromagnetic induction sensors work by sending out magnetic fields and detecting the response from the electric currents generated when the field interacts with a metallic target. While simple versions of such sensors are capable of detecting most land mines, advanced sensors are required to tell the difference between a land mine and harmless buried metal objects, such as shrapnel and spent bullets.

We built this facility to aid in the development of advanced electromagnetic induction sensors and associated detection algorithms, mainly because little was known about how the signals collected by these sensors from land mines changed when the mines were buried underground at odd angles, said Professor Waymond Scott, who led the project with senior research engineer Gregg Larson.

The work was supported in part by the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate.